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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut


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. On October 12, 2017, I joined my colleagues in introducing the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would limit the size of prohibit the sale or transfer of future high capacity magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition, unless the device was lawfully possessed at the time the bill was signed into law. You can read more about this bill here.

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, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) issued the following statement following the shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.
May 18, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.This afternoon, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released the following statement in response to the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Multiple fatalities have been confirmed in the shooting, including nine students and one faculty member.

April 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), along with Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2), and Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) introduced the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act. The bill would incentivize states and local governments through federal grants to enact laws requiring individuals to obtain a license before purchasing a handgun. 

March 14, 2018 Press Release
One month following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the STOP School Violence Act passed the House with broad, bipartisan support by a vote of 407-10. The bill, which would give students and educators tools to recognize and prevent violence in their schools, follows a model advocated for several years by Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) was a cosponsor of the legislation.
March 12, 2018 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed policy outline on gun violence in America:
February 28, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Following a bipartisan, bicameral meeting on gun violence prevention held in the White House’s Cabinet Room this afternoon with President Donald Trump, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), a vice-chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force who represents Newtown, Connecticut released the following statement:

December 14, 2017 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), a vice-chair of the House’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force representing Newtown, Connecticut, held a discussion on the House floor on Wednesday night to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and call for Congress to take action.
December 6, 2017 Press Release
Speaking on the House floor in advance of a vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, legislation to give domestic abusers, stalkers, and violent criminals the ability to cross state lines with fully-loaded, hidden weapons, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) called the bill an “outrage and an insult to families in Newtown, Connecticut.”
November 30, 2017 Press Release
The Fix NICS Act, legislation to strengthen the nation’s gun background check system introduced by a bipartisan group of House lawmakers including Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The bill, which would ensure that federal and state authorities comply with current law and report accurate information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), is the most significant bipartisan legislation to address the nation’s epidemic of gun violence since the failure of the Manchin-Toomey proposal in 2013.
November 20, 2017 Press Release
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) joined a group of Democratic and Republican colleagues to introduce the Fix NICS Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure that federal and state authorities comply with current law and report accurate information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Esty was joined by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on the legislation.