Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21), and Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11) introduced the Buyback our Safety Act, legislation establishing a new matching grant at the Department of Justice aimed at bolstering local gun buyback initiatives nationwide.
"The Chicago area knows all too well the importance of getting dangerous weapons off our streets, and local buyback programs have been instrumental in this process," said Congressman Quigley. "The Buyback our Safety Act is a commonsense approach to gun violence that will help keep our communities safer by expanding successful buyback initiatives to the areas that need them most."
The Buyback our Safety Act (H.R. 227), which authorizes $15 million over 5 years for the matching grant, enables local law enforcement agencies to apply for funds to match the non-federal dollars raised to finance their buyback programs. H.R. 227 also directs the National Academy of Sciences to identify guns most often used in violent crimes and create a pricing scale for purchasing such weapons.
The legislation comes a day before the President is set to unveil a package of proposals to reduce and prevent gun violence. Rep. Quigley will be in attendence during President Obama's announcement at the White House.
"No single policy alone will solve our nation's gun violence epidemic, but the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary beckon us to consider any and every option that could make our communities safer," said Congressman Ted Deutch. "The Buyback our Safety Act is a modestly-funded but commonsense proposal that builds on the successes of gun buyback programs underway from coast to coast. It will help local governments that may have been daunted by the cost of financing buyback programs move forward, and by requiring the Justice Department to report on the success of the grant to Congress, it will give us a better understanding of these buyback programs' impact on gun violence in our communities."
"Each year guns kill 10 times the number of Americans lost on 9/11 and each year we face another massacre -- Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, and now Newtown. It is time for our outrage to return us to action and reshape our gun culture. It is in our hands," said Congressman Connolly.
Rep. Quigley has a long history of pushing for commonsense gun control reforms and recently called on Congress to stop listening to the gun lobby and start listening to the American people in order to address the growing problem of gun violence in America. He has called for closing the gun show loophole and plans to reintroduce the Trafficking Reduction and Criminal Enforcement (TRACE) Act, which would provide the ATF with the resources it needs to effectively combat illegal gun flow in America. Quigley also spearheaded the effort to file a "friend of the court" amicus brief, urging the Supreme Court to allow Chicago's handgun ban to stand.