Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Moving To Pass The Life-Saving Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Before The End Of The Week

June 22, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate advancing bipartisan gun safety legislation, the most significant action to address gun violence in nearly 30 years. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, Democratic and Republican negotiators at long last released what the nation has been waiting for a very long time: a gun safety bill that can be described with three words: common-sense, bipartisan, life-saving.

As the author of the Brady Background checks bill, the last major gun safety bill which passed in 1994,  I am pleased Congress is on the path to take meaningful action to address gun violence for the first time in nearly 30 years.

This bill is real progress. It will save lives. And it is my intention to make sure the Senate passes this bill before the end of the week.

Last night, the process to quickly pass gun safety legislation formally began here on the floor after sixty four Senators agreed to get on the bill.

Let me emphasize that number again: sixty four members came together last night to move forward, an unmistakable sign of the broad support and momentum behind this bill.

That is good news for American families and American communities that have waited years to see real progress against gun violence.

Once again: it is my intention now to keep the process moving quickly and secure final passage before the week’s end.

A little over a month ago, our nation witnessed two of the most traumatic mass shootings seen in years: a racially motivated attack in Buffalo and the worst school shooting in years in Uvalde, Texas.

After these shootings, the Senate had a choice: we could succumb to gridlock and hold a vote on a bill with many things we would want but that had no hope of getting passed – or, we could try to find a bipartisan path forward, as difficult as it seemed to get anything done.

Over the past four weeks, we chose to try and get something done.

Immediately after Uvalde, I spoke with Senator Murphy, who’s been our leader on these issues, and he asked me to give negotiators time and space to do their work. Given his long experience in this area, he thought that they could succeed.

I was happy to agree, because I knew that even if there was a chance to get something positive and tangible done on gun safety, it was well worth the effort. So I told Senator Murphy I would give him the space he needed.

That quickly became the consensus of our caucus and the consensus of many of our gun safety advocates who pressed us to secure real progress. We were all on the same page: get something real done, even if it might not be everything we wanted.

This proved to be the right decision, because today we are only a few days away from passing the first major gun safety bill in nearly 30 years.

I want to thank all my Democratic and Republican colleagues for working together to reach this point. I want to particularly thank Senators Murphy, and Sinema, and all my Democratic colleagues who were part of the bipartisan working group.

And of course, I also want to thank Senators Cornyn, Tillis, and my Republican colleagues who made the decision to tackle this difficult issue.

Most important of all, I want to thank all the survivors of gun violence, all the families and advocates who dedicated years of their lives to try and make a difference. This would not be possible without their years of work.

No matter how many mass shootings have been met with gridlock over the years, these families never gave up on their hopes of making change happen. As I have told them, rather than curse the darkness, they lit a candle.

They have turned their grief into action. And now, their action has brought us to the brink of passing the first significant gun safety bill in decades.

The negotiators have done their work, now it is time for the Senate to complete the job and pass the bill before the end of the week.

The American people have waited long enough.

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