In 2012, Lucy McBath’s son Jordan Davis was shot and killed by a man who fired a weapon into a car because he thought Davis and his friends were playing their music too loudly. Now, after winning a seat as the Congressperson for the sixth district of Georgia, McBath is readying legislation that aims to expand gun control laws and save lives.
Yesterday (January 8), McBath stood alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Congressperson and shooting victim Gabby Giffords and various gun control advocates to introduce H.R. 8. Reports TheHill.com:
Under current law, licensed gun dealers are required to run potential buyers through an FBI database—the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)—to screen out felons, [undocumented] immigrants, spousal abusers, the severely mentally ill, or another category that would bar them from buying or owning weapons. But unlicensed gun sellers—including those operating at gun shows or on the internet—are not required to conduct the same screenings. Gun reforms advocates say that creates an enormous loophole that poses a constant threat to public safety.
“Too often sales without background checks, including unlicensed sales and online sales, have allowed guns to end up in the hands of violent criminals,” McBath said at a Capitol Hill press conference. “By closing these loopholes and expanding background checks, we will make our communities safer.”
Today I stood with my colleagues to co-sponsor legislation implementing universal background checks, a measure supported by 97% of Americans. For my son, my family, and the countless others impacted by gun violence — we WILL fix this broken system. https://t.co/HbBfBLAgfb— Lucy McBath (@lucymcbath) January 9, 2019
McBath bcame a national gun control advocate after the murder of her son. As she wrote in Vanity Fair:
My son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed while sitting in the back seat of a friend’s car at a gas station, listening to music. The man who killed my son opened fire on four unarmed teenagers because he said the music was too loud. That man felt empowered by the stand your ground statute.
Davis was killed by a White man, Michael Dunn, who in 2014 was sentenced to life without parole for the first-degree murder of Davis, three consecutive 30-year sentences for the attempted second-degree murder of his friends who were in the car and 15 more years for firing a gun into a moving vehicle.
McBath ran for the House on a platform that included gun control measures. During her campaign, she was endorsed by gun control groups, including her former employers Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last spring, she said in an interview with the newspaper: “Either you are completely about the business of saving people’s lives or you’re not. There’s no in between.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Bath, four other Democrats and five Republicans in the House. Its chance of being passed in the House—which secured a Democratic majority in the November midterm elections—is high. But it could be defeated in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bill is currently with the House Committee on the Judiciary.