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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut

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Gun Violence Prevention

Since the horrific December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I’ve worked every day as Vice Chair of the U.S. House Gun Prevention Task Force to advance commonsense reforms to save lives and prevent gun violence.

The 2nd Amendment protects Americans’ right to bear arms. But each of our freedoms requires responsibility. Law-abiding gun owners’ rights don’t extend equally to terrorists, criminals, domestic abusers, or the dangerously mentally ill. That is why I support commonsense gun safety reforms, including:

  • comprehensive background checks for all commercial gun sales or transfers;
  • closing the “terror gap” loophole so that the background check system flags and prohibits individuals on the federal terror watch lists or no-fly lists from buying a gun;
  • preventing sales to domestic abusers;
  • stricter punishments for illegal gun trafficking;
  • ending the congressional ban that prevents the CDC from supporting public health research on gun violence;
  • advancing smart gun technology; and
  • providing law enforcement with the tools they need to keep our communities safe.


We also need to increase funding for mental health services. That’s why I cosponsor the Promoting Healthy Minds for Safer Communities Act, which would introduce mental health and domestic violence legislation aimed at reducing and preventing gun violence.

We can respect the Second Amendment rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners and save lives. In 2014, I led a successful bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, proving that we can come together to prevent gun violence.

Nearly 33 Americans are murdered every day with a firearm. No single law will solve this problem. But there are steps we can take to prevent some of this violence and reduce the number of tragedies. We have an obligation to act, which is why I have taken to the House floor several times to urge Congressional leaders to bring gun safety legislation up for a vote.

I am committed to the long road ahead and will not let the “Newtown effect” go away. I will continue to work with law enforcement, the President, members of Congress, and our community leaders to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. For more information concerning my work and views on gun violence prevention, please contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

More on Gun Violence Prevention

June 28, 2017 In The News
Listening to the news from Washington, one would think the government was in frozen deadlock, with nothing getting done.
June 17, 2017 In The News
Speaking before a group of area Democrats on Saturday, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty expressed a need for unity and civil discourse in the wake of the shooting of her Republican colleague in the House, Steve Scalise.
June 16, 2017 In The News
While House Majority Whip Steve Scalise continued to recover on Friday, members of Congress said their emotions are still raw following Wednesday morning's shooting.
June 15, 2017 In The News
A shooting on Wednesday morning that targeted members of Congress was not enough to stop them from playing in the annual Congressional baseball game on Thursday night.
June 14, 2017 In The News
A town traumatized by a mass shooting more than four years ago reacted with dismay — and a flood of questions — to news that several people had been shot Wednesday as a Congressional GOP baseball team held early-morning practice.
June 14, 2017 In The News
The unsettling attack on Congressional Republicans on a baseball field in suburban Washington Wednesday sparked concerns that the inflamed rhetoric dominating politics today may have played a role in the shooting.
June 14, 2017 In The News
The charity Congressional baseball game will go on as planned tonight, the day after a gunman opened fire at the Republican practice session. 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says she hopes there will be a large turnout as a show of solidarity and support. When she first heard about the shooting, Esty says she was shocked, saddened and then relieved to hear none of the staffers, police or colleagues sustained fatal injuries.
June 14, 2017 In The News
U.S. Rep. Elisabeth Esty, D-Conn., said she knew something serious was happening when she saw two Secret Service agents enter the Congressional gym where she and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan were working out at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
June 14, 2017 In The News
All seven Connecticut Congress members are safe and sending words of support to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the other people who were shot this morning during a Congressional baseball practice at a ballfield in Virginia.
June 14, 2017 In The News
Washington – Connecticut lawmakers, for whom gun violence has a personal edge because of the Newtown shootings, reacted with shock and horror at a gunman’s attack on a Republican congressional baseball practice early Wednesday.