Gun Safety


Gun violence continues to plague communities across the country. Too many Americans are gunned down in cities and towns every day and tragic massacres such as the shootings at Virginia Tech University, Fort Hood, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut are all too common. These horrifying incidents serve as reminders that Congress needs to fight for common sense policies to make Americans safer.

Congresswoman Maloney has long supported sensible gun regulation, starting with support of The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, named for President Reagan’s press secretary, Jim Brady, who suffered grievous injuries in the assassination attempt on the President. That law provides for background checks for most handgun purchases, and has stopped thousands of dangerous individuals from buying firearms.

Since that historic act, Congresswoman Maloney has pushed several key bills to crack down on gun violence by making gun trafficking illegal, allowing federal public health agencies to conduct research into gun safety, close the gun show loophole, and support innovative “smart gun” technology. She has also cosponsored legislation to require universal background checks, limit the number of rounds within magazine clips, and renew the expired assault weapons ban.

Select Highlights

  • Gun Trafficking Prevention: In America it is too difficult for law enforcement to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and too easy from criminals to get their hands on guns. Congress needs to do everything in its power to help police and prosecutors bust trafficking rings that funnel guns into our communities. To combat gun trafficking, Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act, the first bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for those who aid in gun trafficking .

  • Research to Reduce Gun Violence: The United States averages 23 gun related deaths each day. It is a public health crisis and public health agencies should have the ability to develop and pursue violence prevention and mental health research. Congresswoman Maloney supports lifting the ban on gun violence research, and has introduced legislation to provide $10 million annually to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this purpose.

    Smart Gun Laws: Congresswoman Maloney is a strong advocate for Smart Gun laws, which take advantage of modern technology to increase gun safety through common-sense policies. That is why in June 2015 she introduced the Handgun Trigger Safety Act. This bill requires that all handguns manufactured five years after the law is passed utilize “authorized user” technology. This means that only the owner of the gun will have the physical capability to fire it. This technology would help prevent accidental gun tragedies—especially accidents involving children—and keep criminals from using stolen handguns. The bill would also require that within ten years all guns that are sold or transferred are retrofitted with this technology.

  • Universal Background Checks: Federal law prohibits felons, the mentally ill, and others from owning a firearm, yet our current system is riddled with loopholes that allow guns to be bought and sold without this basic safeguard. There is bipartisan consensus that this system must be reformed to require a background check for all gun sales. Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, which would close a loophole for one of the main sources of gun sales without background checks- gun shows. This bill would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.

  • Renewing the Assault Weapons Ban: Congresswoman Maloney cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 and was present when then-President Clinton signed the bill into law. But the ban was allowed to expire in 2004. Congress needs to reestablish this ban to help prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of violent criminals, including gang members, drug dealers and terrorists. In 2013 Congresswoman Maloney cosponsored H.R. 437, the Assault Weapons Ban.  With the high number of massacres that America has endured over the years, there is a common thread. The weapon of choice has often been a semiautomatic assault weapon. Congress should do all in its power to keep the public safe. The Assault Weapons Ban would go a long way to ensuring that.

For other legislation and related documents click here.

More on Gun Safety

Jul 24, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today released the following statement in reaction to the Thursday movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana:

“Two are dead and nine are wounded after a gunman opened fire on a crowded movie theater. The hearts of all Americans break with the news of each tragedy, and today is no different. I pray for the speedy recovery of those who were wounded and peace for the loved ones of those who died.

Jul 21, 2015 Press Release

NEW YORK – Five people were murdered by a shooter in Chattanooga, TN, nine people were murdered in a church in Charleston, 10 people were killed and 55 wounded over July 4th weekend in Chicago.  The gun lobby works overtime to make sure guns are easily available and that existing laws are never enforced. 

Jul 17, 2015 Press Release

NEW YORK –Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) today issued the following statement today on the fatal shootings at the Naval Operational Support Center and at an Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, which left four Marines dead:

Jul 10, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today called on Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings to hold a hearing on the breakdown of the criminal background check system, which resulted in Dylann Roof improperly being allowed to purchase the weapon used to massacre nine innocent Americans in a South Carolina church.

Jun 18, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today released the following statement on the Charleston Church Shooting that claimed nine lives at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“No words can ease the pain of the families who lost so much yesterday. Only our prayers can help, and I am praying for the families and friends who lost loved ones and for those who were injured. Today, our nation stands with the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the people of Charleston and we will never forget them.

May 19, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON — A background check is required when a Federal Firearm Licensee wants to sell firearms at a gun show, but no such requirement exists for private sales. The ATF says that makes gun shows a major trafficking channel for illegal guns. To address this problem, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (H.R. 2380).

Mar 10, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today released the following statement in reaction to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ decision to shelve a proposal that would have banned M855 ammunition.

Feb 2, 2015 Press Release

Washington (February 2, 2015) – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.)  today praised President Obama for including $10 million for gun violence research in the Department of Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2016 budget request. Last week, Senator Markey and Rep. Maloney and a group of Senate and House Democrats called on the President to request the funding.