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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

October 12, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released her Keep Americans Safe Act, legislation to protect Americans and their families from “large-capacity” magazines, or those able to hold greater than ten rounds. Large-capacity magazines have played a significant role in mass shootings throughout the country, and gun violence prevention advocates argue the magazines are both unsafe and unnecessary. 

October 11, 2017 Press Release
On Saturday, October 14, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) will hold a town hall meeting at Pulaski Middle School in New Britain
October 5, 2017 Press Release
Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) joined Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to re-introduce legislation – the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act – to ensure that the victims of gun violence are allowed to have their day in court and that the gun industry – manufacturers, sellers and interest groups – is not shielded from liability when it acts with negligence and disregard for public safety.
October 2, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today released the following statement in response to the mass shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas:
 

“Words fail. My heart aches. 

“Another day marred by senseless violence. Another brutal addition to the Mass Shooting Club – a club no one wants to belong to. 

“We need a way forward. That way forward requires responsible gun owners to join us. My message to them is this: don’t let the big-money interests and extremists speak for you.

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.