Last weekend, millions of activists and students took to the streets to demand action from lawmakers to address the alarming rate of mass shootings in the United States. Ohio Congresswoman Joyce Beatty was among those in the crowd.
“You’re out here because I heard it loud and clear,” Beatty told the crowd at the Columbus March for Our Lives at the Ohio Statehouse. “We are marching for our lives today. Enough is enough.”
Beatty said she attended the march because she was inspired by many of the young people in attendance. That inspiration led to action.
On Monday, Beatty introduced House Resolution 5410. The bill aims to improve public safety through what she calls sensible reforms to firearms regulations. She calls the bill the Safer Now Act.
“Safer America for everyone right now,” Beatty said. “Because we need to do this right now, and certainly, we need a safer America.”
Her proposal addresses several points that appeal to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, including measures to keep weapons out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers as well as banning bump stock devices.
“We already have the White House looking at it, we have many Republicans looking at it. Many of the things in my bill people are looking at,” Beatty said. “Why not do a comprehensive bill? I think that’s what makes the difference.”
Other items in the bill like closing the so-called gun show loophole, banning high-capacity magazines and spending federal grant money on gun buyback programs are not top priority for many of her GOP counterparts. However, Beatty thinks her bill can still spark meaningful change.
“I believe in the Second Amendment. I think it’s okay for responsible adults to have guns,” Beatty said. “I don’t think we should allow — and I don’t think the forefathers of our Second Amendment were thinking about — high-capacity ammunition and assault weapons. I don’t think that was the real intention of the Second Amendment.”
Beatty believes each measure in her bill addresses those who should not be using firearms and says her measures will not affect legal or law-abiding gun owners.
But passing any kind of legislation dealing with gun control will be an uphill battle. More than 100 bills addressing firearms have been submitted in Congress this season alone. However, Beatty says the end goal is taking any step forward to avoid another tragic shooting.
“If I would get any one of these things out of this Congress, I believe I will have helped save lives,” she said.
You can learn more about HR 5410 here.