Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22), a member of the congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, announced she is supporting additional measures to reduce gun violence that would: require universal background checks and close loopholes that allow gun purchasers to avoid a background check altogether; ban assault weapons and strengthen mental health programs.
"Americans are heartbroken by tragedies like Newtown and Aurora," Frankel said. "Doing nothing about gun violence is not a responsible option."
Frankel is co-sponsoring the following new measures:
The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013 (H.R. 137): Makes improvements to the current background check system and closes loopholes that allow certain gun purchasers to avoid a background check altogether. It closes various loopholes to ensure that more names of drug abusers, mentally ill and others, who are federally prohibited from having guns, are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It also requires background checks for transfers of firearms by private sellers, just as licensed dealers are required to conduct checks under the existing Brady Law, with reasonable exceptions.
Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (H.R. 437): Bans the future sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of 157 types of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, which are used to shoot dozens of rounds almost instantaneously.
The Mental Health First Act (H.R. 274): Provides funding to mental health training programs across the country by providing training to -- teachers, students, firefighters, police officers, emergency services workers and others -- on recognizing the signs and symptoms of common mental disorders and giving these same persons the tools necessary to respond to mental illness and secure referral to mental health care providers including local community health centers.
Frankel already is co-sponsoring two other bills to reduce gun violence. She is co-sponsor of the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (H.R. 138), which would restore the federal ban on high capacity magazines and the Gunshow Loophole Closing Act of 2013 (H.R. 141), which would require criminal background checks for all firearms purchased at gun shows.
Last week Congresswoman Frankel held roundtables on reducing gun violence in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.