Exactly eight years after the horrific shooting in Tucson that left six people dead and many others severely injured -- including former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton today signed on to bipartisan legislation that would require universal background checks on gun sales.
"For years, there has been a lot of talk and no action coming from Congress when it comes to common-sense solutions like background checks. Today, we're taking action," said Stanton, who is a member of the House's Gun Violence Task Force.
The primary sponsor of the bill is Rep. Mike Thompson of California, who will be joined by Giffords for its introduction later today. The proposal, which will be "H.R. 8" in honor of Giffords (who represented Arizona's eighth congressional district), would require federal background checks for sales and transfers of firearms, including private transactions. Few exemptions on those checks include transfers between family members, or temporary use of a gun for hunting. Gun-control groups estimate that currently, one-fifth or more of gun sales do not include background checks. [For more information, see Politico.]
"There's no one I'd rather stand with on this issue than Gabby," Stanton said. "Her courage and resolve in the face of unspeakable violence and long odds has made a real difference in the national conversation. Today, an overwhelming majority of Americans support common-sense background checks on gun buyers--it's time to deliver solutions."
A Quinnipiac poll from last year showed 97 percent support for background checks, even among gun households. [Source]
During his time as Phoenix mayor, Stanton was a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and worked with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to ask Congress to pass common sense gun violence solutions.