Note: Following the tragic Parkland, FL shooting, there are a large number of bills being filed. Many of these will likely never make it to the floor for a debate or vote. We are tracking them and will update our listings and notify you as it becomes clear the bill is likely to move and action is needed.
Update: 3/20/18 There has been notable silence from the House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as to considering additional gun regulation. President Trump has backed away from his initial promises to take action and has delegated responsibility for considering “school safety” to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The House recently passed H.R. 4909, the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act – that would provide Secure Our Schools grant program at a funding level of $50 million per year and would allow local law enforcement agencies to apply for Department of Justice (DOJ) grant funding for programs and technologies designed to prevent students from committing acts of violence against themselves and others. (Congressman R. Costello signed on as a co-sponsor just before it went to a vote.) As it is a modest amount of money, and represents no new approach to the issue of gun violence, it is a disappointing response. It is now in the Senate as bill 2495.
On this Page:
- Bills we are following in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session
- Overview of the Congressional Legislative Process
Bills We’re Following in U.S. Congress (House of Reps. & Senate)
- Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act: HR 38, S446 This bill seeks to mandate that anyone with permission to concealed carry in their state would then be allowed to concealed carry in all other states. In PA, a gun owner needs to apply for a concealed carry license through the County Sheriff’s office. This involves a a background check, a three page application, two personal references, and gives the sheriff a limited degree of discretion on making the final determination. Many other states have stricter requirements, including passing a gun safety training course, and proof that one needs to carry a concealed weapon. Twelve states have NO REQUIREMENTS, known as ‘Constitutional Carry’. This bill would force all states to accept the lowest common denominator of vetting for concealed carry. In addition, HR 38 if passed, would permit anyone with a permit to bring the gun to schools, eliminating the policy of “safe school zones”. UPDATE: HR 38 passed. This fight will move to the Senate. However, we are grateful to PA Congressmen Patrick Meehan and Ryan Costello who voted against the bill.
- Fix NICS Act: HR 4434; S 2135 This bill seeks to strengthen the amount and type of information being fed into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It is a bi-partisan bill, filed in response to the Sutherland Springs, TX massacre, perpetrated by a former military member whose conviction for domestic violence was not forwarded by the Air Force to the NICS system, thus enabling him to legally purchase guns he used in the murders.
- HR 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, would make it even easier to purchase gun silencers. Silencers change the sound of gunfire and mask muzzle flash. Gun silencers can already be purchased. Purchasers simply need to follow existing regulations, such as completing a background check and registering the silencer with federal officials.If there is a shooting in a public space, such as the one in the Fort Lauderdale airport this past year, it will be harder for people in the surrounding area to hear the gun fire and seek safety. Also, silencers make it more difficult for law enforcement officials to locate active shooters. AND, a survey done earlier this year by Americans for Responsible Solutions found the majority of gun owners believe silencers should be regulated.
- Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act: HR1181 This bill seeks to reverse an Obama era executive action that mandates the VA medical professionals deciding which Vets have proven to be a danger to themselves or others. If passed, it would take 170,000 Vets off of the NICS, National Instant Background Check system from being prohibited to buy a gun legally. This bill Passed the House and is currently in the Senate Calendar under ‘general orders.’
- Gun Violence Reduction Resources Act: HR 62 This bill would increase funds and resources for the ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) It is in the House Judiciary with 0 cosponsors.
- Gun Violence Research Act: HR 1478 This bill would remove restrictions from funding gun violence related research by the Center for Disease Control, and provide new funding. Status: in House Energy and Commerce committee and has 55 cosponsors.
To get additional information about any of these bills, you can look here.
Every voice counts. Let your Representative and Senators know your opinions.
U.S. Legislative Process
If you would like a “refresher” on the many steps a bill goes through to become law at the Federal level, consider watching this “Golden Oldie” School House Rock video.