Gun Violence Prevention

“Gun violence is a public health epidemic. Workers should not fear for their lives at work, and every person deserves to go into a house of worship without fearing violence, and our kids should be able to feel safe at school. Addressing gun violence with meaningful action is a moral obligation that is long overdue.”

Congresswoman Underwood believes that gun violence prevention is a public health issue, and that Congress must respond accordingly with data-driven, evidence-based policies. Less than two months after Congresswoman Underwood took office, five people were killed and six were wounded by a mass shooter in the 14th District. That tragedy in a workplace in Aurora took place just one day after the eleven-year anniversary of another mass shooting at Northern Illinois University.

Congresswoman Underwood vowed to never forget the law enforcement and first responders who rushed toward the violence, undoubtedly saving countless lives, and honors the victims with action. Eleven days after the shooting, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8), legislation co-sponsored by Congresswoman Underwood that requires a background check on every gun sale or transfer, including unlicensed gun dealers, with limited exceptions for family gifts, hunting and target shooting, and self-defense.

Congresswoman Underwood supports universal background checks for all gun sales to ensure that criminals don’t have access to dangerous weapons. She supports efforts to limit access to guns for domestic abusers, stalkers, and others with existing legal actions regarding threats of violence, and because over half of gun deaths are suicides, she is fighting for policies that improve access to suicide prevention services and mental health care. She is also working to remove roadblocks to federal funding of research into how to best prevent gun violence. 

Congresswoman Underwood is a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. 



More on Gun Violence Prevention

August 16, 2021 Press Release

Ensures nurses, doctors, and mental health professionals have the training and resources they need to identify and support young people at risk for suicide to save lives and prevent tragedies 

March 12, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of bipartisan legislation in the House to prevent gun violence and improve gun safety. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act are common sense solutions supported by approximately 90 percent of Americans to address our nation's gun violence epidemic.  

March 5, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON—This week, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the historic passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280). This transformative legislation would make communities safer by increasing transparency and accountability in policing across the country. The bill includes reforms to require the use of body cameras, create a national registry of police misconduct, and require officers to intervene when excessive force is being used. Underwood is an original cosponsor of the legislation.

June 25, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the bipartisan passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120) in the House of Representatives. The legislation would create stronger systems of transparency and accountability in policing across the country and safeguard every American’s right to safety and justice. The bill would ban chokeholds on the federal level, end racial profiling, and help build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

June 8, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) joined members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and House and Senate leadership for the introduction of historic legislation to address racism and instances of police brutality.

January 8, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON— For the first time in more than two decades, legislation championed by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) to commit federal investments to study gun violence was signed into law. The legislation passed as a part of the bipartisan appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2020 and was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2019. The bill provides $12.5 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $12.5 million to the National Institutes of Health for firearm injury and mortality prevention research.

December 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) released the following statement on the bipartisan, bicameral appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2020, signed by the President. The legislation includes legislation championed by Underwood to lower insulin costs, establish an electronic health record system for the Department of Homeland Security, research gun violence, and invest in Fermilab.   

November 21, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Yesterday, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) and 132 other members of Congress in a letter pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on important gun violence prevention legislation that would save lives and make communities safer. The Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R.

June 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced today that her efforts to secure important resources for health care, the protection of climate change data, ethylene oxide research, and Fermilab were successful. The legislation passed as a part of the House appropriations package (H.R. 2740, H.R. 3055, and H.R. 3351) for Fiscal Year 2020. The passage comes after a months-long open and transparent process in which Underwood solicited ideas and requests from local governments, non-profits, organizations, and individuals across Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.

March 1, 2019 Press Release
Today, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) honoring the victims and injured police officers of this month’s shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois, in which a gunman killed Russell Beyer, Vicente Juarez, Clayton “Clay” Parks, Josh Pinkard, and Trevor Wehner, and injured Aurora Police Officers Adam Miller, Marco Gomez, John Cebulski, James Zegar, Reynaldo Rivera, and Diego Avila. U.S. Representatives Bill Foster (D-IL-11) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) introduced a House companion resolution today.