NEW YORK –– Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, responded to President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to nominate California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) –– a department that will be instrumental in combating the dual public health crises of COVID-19 and gun violence in America –– and Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general.
“Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Dr. Vivek Murthy are both proven gun sense champions who will help lead the Biden administration’s effort to treat gun violence like the public health emergency it is,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “America is facing down two intertwined crises right now — Covid and gun violence — and Attorney General Becerra and Dr. Murthy understand that we need to tackle both at the same time.”
“Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been on the front lines of the fight for gun safety for decades, and he’s got several NRA F-ratings to prove it,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “And Dr. Vivek Murthy was one of the first government officials to correctly identify gun violence what it is: a public health issue. Our movement is lucky to have these gun sense champions joining the administration, and the Senate should vote to confirm them both.”
Attorney General Becerra has a long history of being a gun sense champion for California. As a member of Congress, then-Rep. Becerra supported strengthening our background check system, voted against the PLCAA (a gun lobby-backed law that makes it nearly impossible to hold irresponsible or reckless gun sellers accountable in court, even when they allow a criminal or unstable person to access a gun), and was consistently given F-ratings by the NRA. As attorney general of California, Becerra has sued the Trump administration to stop the proliferation of ghost guns –– untraceable, do-it-yourself firearms made from parts available without a background check –– and joined a multi-state lawsuit to stop the proliferation of downloadable guns.
Dr. Murthy –– who previously served as surgeon general under President Obama –– was one of the first public officials to identify gun safety as a public health issue and has long been a staunch advocate for gun safety.