Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
On June 8, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support the Protecting Our Kids Act – a comprehensive package of gun violence prevention proposals that aims to help stop the spread of gun-related crimes and help prevent future mass casualty shootings.
The legislation, which Rep. Kilmer co-sponsored, will raise the purchasing age for certain semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old, crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off our streets, close the ghost gun loophole, strengthen safe storage requirements to protect children from accidental shootings, and outlaw bump stocks and high-capacity magazines for civilian use.
“Over the last few weeks, our nation has grappled with too many senseless, terrible tragedies. From Buffalo to Uvalde, we simply cannot accept such tragedies as the norm. That’s why today I voted to support legislation that would help create real change – and take steps toward keeping our kids safe and ending the epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Rep. Kilmer. “We should never grow accustomed to hearing a parent speak about planning a child’s funeral. We should never get used to seeing our kids running out of a school with their hands in the air in the midst of an active shooter situation. Every American should have a right to be able to go to a school or a grocery store or a church or anywhere else without having to fear for their safety. It’s time – in fact it’s past time – for Congress to act to keep people safe.”
Specifically, the Protecting Our Kids Act will:
- Raise the purchasing age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old
- Cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off of our streets
- Subject ghost gun purchases to background check requirements
- Strengthen safe storage requirements to protect children from accidental shootings
- Close the bump stock loophole to ban these deadly tools from civilian use
- Outlaw high-capacity magazines, which are designed for killing en masse and have been the accessory of choice in the bloodiest mass shootings
- Require an annual report of demographic data of those being determined to be ineligible to purchase guns
In 2021, Rep. Kilmer co-sponsored and voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8) and the Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R.1446). The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would require a background check for all firearm sales and the Enhanced Background Checks Act would address what’s known as the “Charleston loophole” by ensuring that a background check is fully completed before the firearm is transferred to the purchaser. This loophole received national attention following the tragic 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina that resulted in the murders of nine innocent people.
In addition, as the House begins the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2023, Rep. Kilmer is pushing for funding for the STOP School Violence Act program. In 2018, Rep. Kilmer worked in collaboration with the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary to introduce and pass the STOP School Violence Act, which provides resources to schools to implement proven methods of combating gun violence. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he has secured ongoing funding for this law over the last two appropriations cycles to support students, teachers, and others in efforts to spot and report warning signs of gun violence before a tragedy occurs.