WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, issued the following statements after the Democratic Caucus of the House of Representatives elected gun sense champions Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as Minority Leader, Rep. Katherine Clark as Whip, and Rep. Peter Aguilar as Caucus Chair. Leader Jeffries will be the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress.
“As someone who represents a district that knows the pain of gun violence all too well, Rep. Jeffries has been a steadfast champion of common-sense gun safety laws, and we know he will build on that legacy as Leader,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The new House Democratic Leadership team, which includes the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress, is already making history, but we know the focus of their work will be securing a brighter, safer future for all Americans.”
“We’re thrilled that Gun Sense Champion Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was elected to be the new House Democratic Leader,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The new House Democratic leadership team of Reps. Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar have been strong supporters of the gun violence prevention movement and our grassroots army of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers looks forward to continuing to work with them to save lives.”
Reps. Jeffries, Clark, and Aguilar all served in leadership roles in the 117th Congress, which had the strongest gun safety record in history, including the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which included a critical gun safety provision, and the historic passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first major federal gun safety law to pass Congress in nearly 26 years, both of which were signed into law earlier this year. Reps. Jeffries, Clark, and Aguilar also played a key role in passing the Protecting Our Kids Act, a suite of gun safety legislation that includes raising the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles, establishing a requirement to securely store firearms at home, and limiting access to high-capacity magazines. They also helped pass a public safety package that included the Break the Cycle of Violence Act to fund evidence-informed community violence intervention programs, a bill to create a federal extreme risk law and support and incentivize states with these laws already on the books, a bill to require background checks on all gun sales, a bill to regulate assault weapons, a bill to address the Charleston loophole, and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act— all of which President Biden has supported.