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Student-Inspired Gun Violence Bill Introduced by Rep. Chu

September 25, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced H.Res. 1076, an anti-gun violence resolution that was inspired by a resolution written by high school students in her district in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following that attack which killed 17 students and staff members, students in Mr. Jose Sanchez’s civics class at Alhambra High School reached out to President Trump and Congress to demand action to keep themselves and their peers safe. When those calls went unanswered, they drafted legislation of their own. On May 25, the students in Mr. Sanchez’s class presented their resolution to Rep. Chu, having already presented it to the Alhambra Unified School District Board, the Alhambra Democratic Club, and the Alhambra City Council. Rep. Chu, Mr. Sanchez, and Anthony Hu, a student who took part in drafting the resolutions, issued the following statements:

“For years, I have fought against the senseless gun violence in this country and demanded common sense action to keep us safe,” said Rep. Chu. “But for mass shooting after mass shooting, Congressional Republicans responded only with silence, throwing their hands up in the air as if they were helpless, when the reality is we are anything but. Finally, after yet another tragic shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida, robbed us of 17 more lives, our country seems to have reached a turning point. Across the country, students who know they should not have to fear for their lives going to school have said enough is enough, and already, their actions have led to major retailers curbing their sales of guns, corporations cancelling support for the NRA, and more. I’ve been privileged to meet with many of these students from schools like Marjory Stoneman Douglas to talk about their experiences and their resolve to change our laws. And then, when I met with this remarkable class at Alhambra High School, I saw that resolve in action. The amount of research and work that the students, under the leadership of Mr. Sanchez, put into this resolution is truly impressive. They had vigorous debates on each provision, from banning assault weapons to true universal background checks. They had a vote on each of those provisions.  They were thoughtful and impassioned as they presented their views to one another and to the public. And it worked. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Alhambra Unified School District. And now, I’m hoping to help them do the same at the federal level. A movement is growing, and these students are not afraid to stand up to the NRA if it means saving their lives. And I’m proud to stand with them.”

“While gun violence becomes more and more of a norm in our country, students too are recognizing that this is not an unsolvable issue,” said current Alhambra High School Senior, Anthony Hu, who also worked on the resolution. “H.Res. 1076 is significant to us because it is the first step toward safer schools and safer communities.”

“As an educator, I am extremely proud of the work my students have done to tackle a serious issue like gun violence in schools and draft their own legislation,” said. Mr. Sanchez. “As a civics teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to prepare our next generation of Americans not just to be civically engaged, but to take responsibility for their community, to interact with legislators and engage their democracy. During our work with the resolution, my students and I witnessed support and compassion pour in from the community because gun violence impacts everyone's life. Every week that we had a school shooting and we read the articles or watched the news, I felt like my students and I were personally moved to get this resolution passed and legislation written that would end gun violence. As a result of this resolution, my students have now gotten civically involved in their community by presenting their resolution to the Alhambra City Council and even gotten governing bodies like the Alhambra Unified School District, the Alhambra Teachers Association and the Alhambra Democratic Club to approve their Resolution. Furthermore, the fact that we have support from many legislators like Mike Eng, Adele Andrade-Stadler, Denise Menchaca and Congresswoman Judy Chu shows that local legislators see gun violence as an important issue that needs to be brought to the forefront. We hope that Congresswoman Judy Chu's efforts to introduce our resolution to end gun violence on the House floor will prompt Congressional leaders of the important role that young minds, like those of my students, play in shaping legislation and impacting lives on a daily basis. With the help and leadership of Congresswoman Judy Chu, I know that my students' goal of creating federal legislation that saves lives by ending gun violence will be brought to fruition.”

H.Res. 1076 will outlaw individuals with violent criminal records from purchasing guns, require background checks and age checks for all buyers, raise the minimum age for purchasing guns from 18 to 21.