Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell fights against gun trafficking and gun violence with new bill
Mucarsel-Powell is no stranger to gun violence. To her, this fight is personal just as much as it is necessary to protect BIPOC communities.
Florida U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has introduced a new legislation to curb the illegal trafficking of firearms and prevent gun violence.
Mucarsel-Powell herself has a history with gun violence, and the damaging effects it has on BIPOC communities.
In addition to being a survivor of gun violence herself, Mucarsel Powell also lost her father to gun violence over two decades ago.
He was shot and killed outside of his home in Ecuador, her home country, before she emigrated to the United States as a teenager.
She joined Congress in 2019 and in February 2020, was appointed to the Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
Mucarsel-Powell introduced her new “commonsense” legislation on Sept. 1, writing, “Gun violence and its tragedies continue to plague our nation. It doesn’t stop because of a pandemic.”
My commonsense bill aims to keep guns off of our streets and out of our neighborhoods.
Gun dealers are the last line of defense in identifying and stopping fraudulent or dangerous firearm purchases, and my legislation holds them responsible. https://t.co/ltejDOrWef
— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) September 1, 2020
The new bill would require training for federally-licensed gun dealers and their employees. Training would also equip weapon sellers to be able to identify fraudulent gun sales, and would make it a crime for dealers to sell a gun to someone if they know the purchase is illegal.
Gun dealers would face criminal penalties if they do not stay current on training.
“Gun dealers are the last line of defense in identifying and stopping fraudulent or dangerous firearm purchases, and my legislation holds them responsible,” Mucarsel-Powell tweeted.
Gun dealers are the last line of defense in identifying and stopping fraudulent or dangerous firearm purchases, and my legislation holds them responsible.
Learn more about my bill to protect our community from gun violence: https://t.co/e04obWsNWS pic.twitter.com/toFRpKSkoQ
— Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@RepDMP) September 2, 2020
She believes the bill will save lives, especially the most historically disenfranchised, particularly BIPOC communities, where gun violence is fueled by gun trafficking.
“Communities of color disproportionately suffer the pain and consequences of gun violence. Data shows that 89% of all gun homicides occur in urban communities and 73% of all gun homicide victims are Hispanic or Black,” reads Mucarsel-Powell’s press release on the bill.
“Nationally, Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely than white Americans to die from gun homicide, and Black Americans are ten times as likely compared to white Americans.”
This is the underlying epidemic Mucarsel-Powell is addressing with the bill. It has been raging for far longer, has taken more lives, and cities have been struggling to contain the spread for decades.
By regulating gun dealers, the last line of defense in stopping dangerous firearm purchases, Mucarsel-Powell is promoting real action to mitigate the spread.