Newtown Action Alliance Statement on the Passage of H.R. 8-Bipartisan Background Check Legislation in the 116th Congress 

For Immediate Release

February 28, 2019


John Kelley


Newtown Action Alliance Statement on the Passage of H.R. 8-Bipartisan Background Check Legislation in the 116th Congress  

Newtown, CT - Po Murray, Chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance, released the following statement in response to the 240-190 favorable vote on H.R. 8, the federal legislation to require background checks on all gun sales:

“We applaud and thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Mike Thompson and all members of the U.S. House of Representatives who championed and voted to pass H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.  Yesterday’s historic vote was an important first step to reduce gun deaths and injuries throughout this nation. 

We denounce the despicable partisan attempt by the NRA-funded members of the House of Representatives to block the passage of H.R. 8 by infecting the legislation with Donald Trump’s fake national emergency rhetoric. We will implore the Senate to support Senator Chris Murphy's clean universal background check bill, S. 42 Background Check Expansion Act.

Yesterday’s vote was the first vote on gun control legislation in the House of Representatives since the Sandy Hook tragedy. Those of us living in Newtown and other communities directly and indirectly impacted by gun violence across this nation know too well that gun violence is the true national emergency. In 2017, 40,000 Americans were killed by guns, the highest level in 40 years, and more than 1,200 children were killed by guns since the Parkland tragedy. 

Congress has not passed a single piece of substantive federal gun control legislation in 25 years. We are sick and tired of thoughts and prayers and inaction and we will no longer tolerate gun violence in America by making it very clear on our ballots in the coming years.

During the vote on H.R. 8 yesterday afternoon, we met with various Senators to discuss our list of 26 gun control measures that will reduce gun homicides, gun suicides, unintentional shootings, mass shootings and gun injuries. We will continue to encourage all Members of Congress to introduce and pass the following gun control policies: 

  1. Background checks on all gun sales

  2. Close the Charleston loophole or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI

  3. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor

  4. Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence

  5. Mandatory waiting period for gun purchases

  6. Red flag/gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection order to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession

  7. Handgun permitting, licensing, training, and registration

  8. Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories

  9. Ban future manufacture and sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program

  10. Limits on high capacity magazines

  11. Prohibit open carry

  12. Make gun trafficking a federal crime

  13. Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys

  14. Fund government research on gun violence

  15. Child access prevention/safe storage requirement

  16. Provide resources for people with mental illness

  17. Microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun

  18. “Smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability

  19. Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases

  20. Require licensing for ammunition dealers

  21. Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers

  22. Digitize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun records

  23. Raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21

  24. Ban 3D and ghost guns

  25. Prohibit guns in schools and college campuses

  26. Report lost and stolen guns.”


Newtown Action Alliance ( is a Newtown-based, national grassroots organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Our mission is to achieve the steady and continuous reduction of gun violence through legislative and cultural changes.