Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) addressed the House floor for the first time. The topic of her speech focused on gun violence, in particular two bills the House considered and passed this week: H.R. 8, which mandates background checks for all gun purchases; and H.R. 1112, which closes the “Charleston Loophole” that currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.

“Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise today to voice my support for two bills that the House will consider this week: H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112. These bills are the first comprehensive gun violence prevention bills to be considered in the House since the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was signed into law in 1994. 

“Far too often innocent lives are claimed due to gun violence. Nearly 40,000 people die of gun-related injuries per year.

“While mass shootings often dominate headlines, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the gun violence happening on a daily basis in cities all over the country, and even my hometown of Waterbury, CT. I’ve lived in a neighborhood where the sound of gunshots in the distance was as normal as hearing church bells, and, as a teacher and a mother, I’ve seen firsthand how the fear of violence affects our children.

“For far too long, Congress has failed our communities by remaining silent on this issue.

“America is ready for common sense background check legislation, I owe it to my community, I owe it to my state, I owe it to the people of Newtown, Connecticut. And that’s why I look forward to casting my vote in support of H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112.

“I thank you, Madam Speaker, and yield back my time.”


The full video of Hayes’ floor speech is available here.