LETTER TO HOUSE LEADERSHIP CALLING FOR ER SESSION ON GUN VIOLENCE (AUGUST 15 2019)
August 15, 2019
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives United States House of Representatives
1236 Longworth House Office Building 2468 Rayburn House office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington DC 20515
RE: Amnesty International USA Calls on House to Convene Emergency Session to Pass Assault Weapons Ban and Disarm Hate legislation
Dear Representative Pelosi and Representative McCarthy:
On behalf of Amnesty International USA (“AIUSA”) and our two million members and supporters nationwide, we urge you to call an emergency session immediately so that the House can take swift action to reduce and prevent gun violence, and to save lives.
After the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, hospital staff in those cities rushed in to perform emergency surgeries to save lives. They did not rest at home or stay on vacation after these shootings.
AIUSA has called on Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer to convene an emergency session this month to pass universal background checks legislation (S.42).
Likewise, the House must immediately return to Washington, D.C. to fulfill its principal job of creating and passing laws to protect the nation. Beyond the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, there were reports of at least 11 other shootings in nine different states during the first half of August, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The House took important action in February by passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H. R. 8) and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H. R. 1112). But more is needed. AIUSA urges you to call an emergency session to pass the following legislation:
• Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 (H.R. 1296)
• Disarm Hate Act of 2019 (H.R. 2708)
Ending gun violence is AIUSA’s top domestic human rights priority. In May 2019, 116 activists from 37 states came to Capitol Hill as part of AIUSA’s lobby day. They met with 76 Senate offices and urged them to pass universal background checks legislation (S. 42). This month, in district, AIUSA activists are meeting with Republican Senators to demand immediate action on universal background checks.
AIUSA’s 2018 report “In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis” examined how all aspects of American life have been compromised by the unfettered access to guns, with no meaningful national regulation. In July 2019 Amnesty International published a report concluding that the U.S. has failed to meet its human rights obligation to provide effective remedies to those injured or victimized by gun violence. Those obligations will not be fulfilled unless and until Congress passes common sense gun safety laws.
Weapons of war do not belong in our communities. We urge you to immediately call the Houseback to Washington, D.C. to take action on gun safety legislation.
For additional information, please contact Adotei Akwei, at 202/509-8148 or [email protected]
Advocacy and Government Affairs
Advocacy and Government Affairs