Gun Violence Prevention Bill Passes with Levin Amendment Included

February 28, 2019
Press Release
Congressman Andy Levin’s amendment would establish reporting requirements by the Government Accountability Office to better understand and enhance gun violence prevention.

The United State House of Representatives today passed the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 1112) to address the “Charleston Loophole,” which currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.

The final bill passed with the inclusion of Congressman Andy Levin’s amendment, which would require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress one year, three years, and five years following the implementation of this law. The increased reporting would help Congress to understand how stronger background checks impact gun violence prevention. The provision is especially important since Republicans have blocked funding that would enable the federal government to study gun violence.

“As we strengthen background checks that would help to end the gun violence epidemic, we must also make sure we have the best data to understand the issue,” Congressman Andy Levin said. “Gun violence prevention is personal to me because the residents of southern Macomb and southeastern Oakland counties sent me to Congress to protect our communities from senseless gun violence. The courage of the moms, students and all advocates for this issue in Michigan’s 9th District was on my mind when I cast my vote today.

“My amendment to the Enhanced Background Checks Act ensures that Congress is kept up to date on how closing the ‘Charleston Loophole’ makes our communities safer. For decades, Republicans have fought to prevent the government from understanding the scourge of gun violence. That must end now. With better information, we’ll be better equipped to address this public health crisis.”

The “Charleston Loophole” refers to the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gunman killed nine innocent people in 2015, and exposed an area of weakness in our federal gun laws. The shooter at the AME Church in Charleston – who was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm due to his history of unlawful controlled substance abuse – was able to acquire his gun before the FBI could complete his background check. 

Congressman Levin yesterday voted for H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would ensure that all gun sales are subject to a background check so that individuals who are a danger to themselves and others are no longer able to purchase a gun.

On his first day as a Member of Congress, Congressman Andy Levin announced he would join the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force because putting an end to gun violence is one of his top legislative priorities.