Pelosi: ‘Finish the job’ on background checks

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Mike Thompson – House Democrats’ point man on gun violence issues – attended a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence news conference Wednesday marking the 20th anniversary of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and calling on Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation on background checks.

Thompson, D-Napa, and Rep. Pete King, D-N.Y., introduced H.R. 1565 in the House in April; it mirrors the bipartisan Manchin-Toomney bill that the Senate rejected that same month. House Republican leaders have not allowed any hearings on the bill.

From Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

Nancy Pelosi“At the beginning of every Congress we take an oath of office to protect and defend – that’s our first responsibility. It’s an honor to take that oath, but I’m ashamed to be here to face all of you not having finished the job yet.

“We must be relentless in how we pursue this, how we protect and defend the American people. In the two decades since the Brady Bill was signed into law, over two million gun requests did not get approved. Imagine: it stopped two million illegal gun purchases and helped protect millions of Americans from the incomprehensible tragedy felt by all of you here today.


“Nobody’s political career is more important than protecting the American people. Who among us is of such value that we would not say, ‘I’ll take a risk, so that our kids don’t have to take a risk and be in danger?’ So, I think there’s reason to be hopeful, because of Mr. Thompson’s work in the House getting all those co-sponsors. All we need is 20, 30 more, and there are at least 30 more who would vote for it.

“So, what we want is to get people to sign on, or at least say they will support the bill, and to urge the leadership of the House to take up the bill. I believe if the bill were taken up in the House that it would pass, and when it passes the House, some Senators – well-intentioned – would no longer have the excuse: ‘It’s no use my risking my political career because it’s not going any place in the House.’ Let’s prove it. Let’s turn that around. Pass it in the House. Just put the pressure on to take up the bill. Why not? Why not? When 90 percent of the American people want us to finish the job?”

Thompson issued a statement after the news conference. “If this bill is passed, criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers wouldn’t be able to bypass a background check by simply buying a gun online, through a classified ad or at a gun show,” he said. “This bill will save lives and respects the Second Amendment. It deserves a vote. And, it deserves to be signed into law.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Does anyone seriously give a rat’s *** what Nancy Pelosi says or thinks? I don’t think so.

  • JohnW

    Her caucus does. You may not like her views or personality, but she is effective at doing her job. Unlike Boehner, she can deliver votes when it counts. She bailed out Bush and Hank Paulson (and the nation) on the bailout. She delivered the votes to end the shutdown, something Boehner wanted to do but couldn’t.

  • Elwood

    From what I read the dimmiecrats are running for cover on Obummercare. Pelosi is trying to keep her lackeys in line. To what extent she will succeed remains to be seen. DiFi and Billy Jeff are saying the President should unlie about people losing their health insurance and see to it that they don’t. General Custer is trying frantically to keep Obummercare intact. DiFi is trying to repair the horrible damage done by Obummercare in hopes of keeping the dimmiecrat majority in the Senate after next year’s midterms.

  • MichaelB

    Completely meaningless/feel good nonsense considering the lack on interest by the same politicians/current administration in actually prosecuting those who have failed background checks.

    How many lives have been lost because of this?

    Some of us know what the “job” is from Pelosi and others like her really is – and it does not “respect” the 2nd Amendment. It’s creating more prohibited categories of persons allowed to legally own guns and banning possession of as many as possible to reduce national ownership to acceptably “low” amounts.

  • Tom

    “purchasers wouldn’t be able to bypass a background check by simply buying a gun online, through a classified ad or at a gun show” They can’t now… I have recently purchased a gun on line. It had to be shipped to a someone with a Federal Firearm License (FFL). When you pick it up from FFL, they run the background check on you. When you buy at a gun show, they are also required to run a background check on you. Politicians just like to rile up the uninformed.