Why Are So Many House Representatives Wearing Orange Masks?
They're calling on Mitch McConnell to take action.
575 days ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act. For 575 days, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't done anything about it. Today, representatives from coast to coast wore orange masks to bring attention to the inaction in the Senate, using the hashtag #WearOrangeMasks to come together and, hopefully, get McConnell to consider bringing the issue up for a vote.
Since the act passed, 425 mass shootings have happened and more than 12,000 individuals have died from gun violence, according to Alabama's Rep. Terri Sewell. Specifically, if it passes, HR8 would "prohibit a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check."
This year we've already seen more than 12,000 deaths and 425 mass shootings while @senatemajldr has let #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, languish on his desk with no action for 575 days.
Today we #WearOrangeMasks to keep up the pressure on the Senate to take action. pic.twitter.com/tkR57Vsiln
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) September 24, 2020
575 days. That’s how long it’s been since the House passed #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and how long Sen. Mitch McConnell has been blocking the bill. We #WearOrangeMasks to urge the Senate to take action on common-sense, bipartisan gun safety legislation. pic.twitter.com/L7StY6jy9B
— Rep. Gil Cisneros (@RepGilCisneros) September 24, 2020
Today we #WearOrangeMasks to mark 575 days since the House passed #HR8 and took action to help prevent gun violence. Amid rising gun deaths as people are sheltered at home, McConnnell continues to ignore this life saving bill. Long past time for him to take action. pic.twitter.com/kxCXd4HZDM
— Rep. Linda Sánchez (@RepLindaSanchez) September 24, 2020
575 days ago, the House took a historic step forward to advance #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to help put an end to gun violence & protect our communities. Today we #WearOrangeMasks to keep the pressure on the Senate to finally vote on this life-saving legislation. pic.twitter.com/CYof7HatZi
— Paul Tonko ⚫️ (@RepPaulTonko) September 24, 2020
Gun violence remains an all-too-common tragedy in America. Today marks 575 days since @HouseDemocrats passed #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act.
How many lives could have been spared if @SenateMajLdr had done his job & brought this critical legislation to the floor? pic.twitter.com/MFxfjZdZcN
— Rep. David E. Price (@RepDavidEPrice) September 24, 2020
575 days. That’s how long it’s been since the House passed #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and how long the Senate GOP has ignored the bill.
Today as gun deaths continue to rise as our nation is sheltered in place, we #WearOrangeMasks to urge the Senate to act. pic.twitter.com/rqrLBXy2PT
— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) September 24, 2020
More than 90% of Americans – both Democrats and Republicans – support background checks on every gun sale.
Today, I wear this #OrangeMask marking 575 days since the House passed #HR8 and @SenateMajLdr McConnell’s refusal to give it a vote. pic.twitter.com/5anFdSPMbV
— Dwight Evans 2020census.gov (@RepDwightEvans) September 24, 2020
Gun violence continues to cost lives every day. 575 days ago @HouseDemocrats took action to #EndGunViolence with the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. But the bill sits in McConnell’s graveyard.
Today we wear orange to call for an immediate Senate vote on #HR8. @RepTomSuozzi pic.twitter.com/OnekcYo2m2
— Nanette D. Barragán (@RepBarragan) September 24, 2020
As things currently stand, federal law only requires a Universal Background Check if a gun is purchased through licensed firearm dealers, which only accounts for 78% of sales, according to a 2017 study by the Annals of Internal Medicine. HR8 would expand background checks before guns can be purchased.
Giffords states that "though more than 90% of the American public supports background checks for all gun sales, a dangerous and deadly loophole in federal gun laws still exempts unlicensed sellers from having to perform any background check whatsoever before selling a firearm." The organization adds that 22% of current gun owners procured their firearms without a background check.
The orange masks are a tribute to Wear Orange, which encourages the public to educate themselves on gun reform to honor Hadiya Pendleton. Just one week after performing at President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade in 2013, she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 and her friends wore orange to honor her legacy.
Presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would implement a national buyback program and he previously supported universal background checks and an assault weapons ban. According to FactCheck.org, after HR8 passed, Trump said he would veto it.