WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-5) voted today to pass the Protecting Our Kids Act, a package of commonsense bills that will reduce gun violence and save lives. This package raises the legal age to purchase semi-automatic weapons, cracks down on gun trafficking, establishes safety requirements for residential storage of firearms, regulates ghost guns, and bans bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. 

“Every day in this country, 321 people are shot, and 111 will die. 22 of those shot every day are kids; in fact, guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in America. This is a uniquely American problem – Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed in a gun homicide than people in other high-income countries. It simply doesn’t have to be this way.

“I was proud to join my Democratic colleagues in passing legislation today to protect American families by raising the legal age of purchase for some semi-automatic rifles, cracking down on gun trafficking, creating safe storage laws, regulating ghost guns, and banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. While this bill passed the House today, Republicans refused to vote for these lifesaving provisions that will save lives. Their inaction is inexcusable.”

Tomorrow, the House will also vote on the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act to authorize and establish procedures for federal courts to issue protection orders to temporarily remove access to firearms for those who are deemed a danger to themselves or to others by a federal court. This legislation would also create a grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice to encourage states to adopt ‘red flag’ laws and support the 19 states that have already implemented them.

In June 2016, just days after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Clark and the late Congressman John Lewis led a sit-in on the House floor calling for Republican leadership to allow votes on gun legislation. The protest came after former Speaker Paul Ryan blocked legislation that would have expanded background checks and attempted to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.

Footage of Clark’s floor speech today on the Protecting Our Kids Act can be found HERE.