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

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.

Dec 30, 2014 Press Release

NEW YORK -- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today urged Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy to take action on gun violence and other public health issues. In her letter, Maloney called for better efforts to understand gun violence and continued action in addressing skin cancer.

Sep 10, 2014 Newsletter

Not One More postcards delivered to Rep. Maloney's office

My office received over 9,300 postcards standing against destructive gun violence and for sensible reforms like the bipartisan legislation I introduced last year to combat the flow of illegal guns to criminals. I’m inspired by the outpouring of support for the #NotOneMore effort from New York’s 12th District.

Jun 16, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today applauded the Supreme Court’s decision in Abramski v. United States and reiterated her call for stricter penalties for illegal straw purchases. Maloney is the sponsor of H.R. 452, The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that makes gun trafficking a federal crime and increases penalties for straw purchases.
Jun 16, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) released the following statement in reaction to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report entitled “Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action.” “The CDC just released a report on youth violence. It found that the leading cause of death for young people in America is homicide, and over 80 percent of those homicides are committed with a firearm. The report also says that there is ‘insufficient evidence to determine’ the effectiveness of federal and state firearms laws in preventing this violence. Yet, we don’t have a CDC report on gun violence because for nearly two decades, an NRA-sponsored gag order has been imposed on the CDC, preventing all research into what laws could be enacted to stop this senseless bloodshed. That needs to end.
Jul 15, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –  Today, U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act,” H.R. 2554. The legislation establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.