Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed


Gun Violence Prevention

Though years have passed since the horrific murder of twenty school children and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, here in Connecticut that tragedy remains at the forefront of our minds—especially when discussing the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our country. Since that day in 2012, the United States has experienced a rash of mass shooting events and mourned the loss of tens-of-thousands of men and women due to gun violence. In urban centers like the city of Hartford, gun violence has become a part of day-to-day life.

Like many Americans, Rep. Larson believes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of citizens to possess legal firearms for personal protection and sporting purposes. However, he also believes implementing commonsense reforms that most Americans already agree on can save countless lives across the country each and every year.

Rep. Larson speaks on the House Floor
Click above to watch Rep. Larson call on House Leadership
to take action on gun violence prevention, or visit:

As the President has said repeatedly, “While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, if there is if even one thing we can do to reduce this violence – even one life can be saved – we have an obligation to try.” Though Rep. Larson understands many Americans genuinely disagree about how to reduce gun violence throughout the country, he firmly believes Congress should hold an honest debate on the subject. The majority of the public understands the necessity for reasonable reforms, and he believes Congress could find common ground and pass important legislation.

5 Key Policies to Stem the Epidemic of Gun Violence:

1.  A ‘Universal Background Check’ for all firearms purchases or transfers in the United States:

The most effective way to prevent gun violence and mass shootings is to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are legally barred from possessing them, including criminals and individuals experiencing severe mental illness. Far too often, guns are sold without any background check at all to verify whether someone is legally allowed to purchase one. Rep. Larson has supported various background check initiatives in previous years, and he is currently a co-sponsor of Rep. Speier’s Fix Gun Checks Act’ (H.R. 3411).


2.  Limitations to the amount of ammunition, or bullets, a firearm magazine can hold:

The memory of the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona—where Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was seriously wounded and six individuals were killed—remains fresh in Rep. Larson;s mind. Law enforcement subdued the shooter only after he was forced to stop and reload his firearm. Rep. Larson firmly believes limiting the number of bullets a magazine can hold is a simple way to blunt the effectiveness a someone who may attempt to carry out a mass shooting,. To that end, he cosponsored Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act’, H.R. 752


3.  Penalty enhancements for people convicted of straw-purchasing firearms:

In addition to insisting on a universal background check for every firearm purchase in the United States, every effort must be made to prevent attempts at skirting those checks. ‘Straw-purchases’ enable individuals who are ineligible to legally purchase a firearm to obtain one by utilizing a third party to complete the sale on their behalf. This type of transaction is already a federal crime, but Rep. Larson believes we must enact a more stringent penalty for those convicted of this crime in the hope of deterring others. Straw-purchasers often cost people their lives, albeit it indirectly, and thus the penalty must reflect the severity of the crime. That is why Rep. Larson was proud to cosponsor Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Gun Trafficking Prevention Act’, H.R. 3455.


4.  Ban the sale of military-style assault weapons:

Military-style assault weapons are firearms designed with characteristics similar to those used on martial weapons intended for combat situations. Rep. Larson strongly feels weapons created with these characteristics are not necessary for either personal protection or sporting purposes, and should not be available for sale to the general public. For those reasons, he cosponsored Rep. David Cicilline’s Assault Weapons Ban’, H.R. 4269.


5.  Provide additional counseling and support for youth impacted by urban violence:

Each year, countless young Americans lose friends or family members due to violence in their neighborhoods. Others sustain injuries themselves—both physical and emotional. This trauma takes a toll on their overall health and well-being, leaving them susceptible to depression or aggressive behavior in the following months and years. Increasing access to mentoring, counseling, social-emotional learning programs, and other mental health services to our most vulnerable youths could help them heal and prevent future violence. That’s why Rep. Larson first introduced the City Youth Violence Recovery Act in 2007, and will reintroduce a similar proposal this year. 


Rep. Larson stands with Team 26 to demand Congressional action on gun violence prevention.

Rep. Larson is currently a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives.


More on Gun Violence Prevention

December 28, 2016 Press Release
Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), released the following statement on the proposed amendments to the House Rules
September 28, 2016 Press Release
Washington – Led by the four organizers of last June’s sit-in--including Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) as well as the chair and vice-chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force--97 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives today wrote to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, requesting that they keep the House in session until Congress finally takes action on America’s epidemic of gun violence.
August 24, 2016 Press Release
Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) announced four new grants through the Department of Justice (DOJ) to aid the First District in its efforts to reduce gun violence, improve drug treatment and prevention programs, and support other law enforcement initiatives.
July 15, 2016 Press Release

Washington – Last night, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) invited Mrs. Henrietta Beckman of Hartford’s North End to join him for a national speak out on gun violence. Mrs. Beckman’s son, Randy Beckman, was shot and killed in Hartford in 2002. Since his death, Mrs. Beckman has become a passionate community activist. She currently serves as president of Mothers United Against Violence, where she has pressed for action to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic.

July 8, 2016 Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) issued the following statement on the shootings in Dallas that killed five officers and left several others wounded:

July 6, 2016 Press Release
Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) took the House Floor to continue the call for bipartisan action on gun reforms and to speak in favor of the mental health reforms to be considered this afternoon.
July 5, 2016 Press Release
​Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) took the House floor to reflect on the historic sit-in by House Democrats and a path forward on gun reforms.
June 23, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Reps. John B. Larson and John Lewis led a group of more than 170 of their colleagues in an unprecedented sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives.  Backed by their Senate colleagues and hundreds of Americans inside and outside of the Capitol, they called for votes on commonsense background checks for all gun purchases and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing firearms.
June 20, 2016 Press Release

Washington – In the wake of Sen. Chris Murphy’s historic filibuster last week, the Senate failed to pass commonsense amendments authored by Sens. Murphy and Feinstein aimed at preventing gun violence. Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement:

June 16, 2016 Press Release
Washington - Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) commended Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal for their historic filibuster on the Senate floor.