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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

February 3, 2017 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today denounced the House of Representatives’ passage of H.J.Res. 40, which prohibits the Social Security Administration (SSA) from reporting information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
February 2, 2017 In The News

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

February 2, 2017 In The News

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty blasted a House vote Thursday that she said "was about weakening our firearms background check system, plain and simple” and that would "make the American people less safe."

The House passed H.J.Res. 40, which prohibits the Social Security Administration from reporting information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

January 20, 2017 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today released the following statement after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
January 20, 2017 In The News

Thankful that her daughter was at the Ft. Lauderdale airport the day before the mass shooting last week, my cousin remarked, “Shows you that anything can happen anywhere or any time.”

She’s right — a gun owner can legally fly to many states around the country with his firearm and ammunition in checked baggage, unpack it upon arrival and carry it loaded in non-secure areas of airports.

January 3, 2017 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) was officially sworn in as a Member of the 115th United States Congress today,
January 3, 2017 In The News
Sen. Richard Blumenthal was sworn in to his second six-year term in the U.S. Senate, and all five Democratic House members from Connecticut began a new term as well, as the 115th Congress was gaveled in on Tuesday.
January 2, 2017 In The News
As the country welcomes a new year, members of Connecticut’s political delegation reflected on last year’s accomplishments and disappointments, as well as their goals for 2017 and the convening of the 115th U.S. Congress under a new administration.
December 30, 2016 In The News
The organizers of a dramatic protest in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives six months ago are blasting a plan by Republican leaders to alter the rules to prevent similar things in the future.
December 28, 2016 In The News
A plan by House Republicans to discourage another live-streamed sit-in protest like the one Democrats staged this summer demanding a vote on gun control is drawing sharp criticism from Connecticut’s congressional delegation.