Jaime’s Law, named in honor of (author of Find the Helpers) Fred Guttenberg’s daughter Jamie, has been reconsidered by Congress.
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Congressional lawmakers came together Tuesday to reintroduce “Jaime’s Law” on Capitol Hill. The law would require instant background checks to prevent criminals from illegally purchasing ammunition.
South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Connecticut US Senator Richard Blumenthal reintroduced the law, also known as, The Ammunition Background Check Act of 2021.
Jaime’s Law is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, one of 17 victims in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
“No person should endure the agonizing pain of losing someone they love to gun violence. Families in towns and cities across the country who have been touched by this agonizing epidemic are joining Fred Guttenberg and other gun safety advocates to demand Congress address this public health crisis,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. “Jaime’s Law is a crucial piece of the multifaceted approach needed to end the gun violence epidemic. Closing the ammunition loophole and requiring background checks for ammunition purchases can save lives.”
“My daughter Jaime was murdered over 3 years ago. Since then, our failure to address the reality of gun violence has only become more challenging as we see more instances of gun violence. The gun surge unleashed during the pandemic has resulted in over 400,000,000 weapons on our streets,” said Fred Guttenberg, founder of Orange Ribbons For Jaime. “Unfortunately, as we are seeing every day now, many in the hands of someone who intends harm and wants to kill. The way to deal with this reality is to pass Jaime’s law and extend background checks to ammunition. The reality of gun violence in America will not fix itself. We need this life saving legislation or we will continue to face our current daily reality of gun violence and loss of life. We are better than this. THE TIME IS NOW!!! Let’s save lives together and pass Jaime’s Law.”
Currently, federal law does not require a background check to prevent the illegal purchase of bullets. Jaime’s Law would close this loophole by requiring all buyers of ammunition to undergo an instant background check using the FBI National Instant Background Check System (NICS).
CBS4 spoke to Fred Guttenberg after the announcement that Jaime’s law was being reintroduced after it failed to get traction two years ago.
“This law would not have changed what happened to my daughter. I am now doing what I do because I want to save lives from gun violence,” he said.
With Democrats in control of Congress, Guttenberg feels there is a great chance of passage this year.
“The gun lobby is weakened and this is the year to pass legislation,” he says.
Still, Guttenberg says passage in the US Senate won’t be easy.
“I’m not counting on any support from(Republican Florida Senators) Rick Scott or Marco Rubio.”
“I do believe gun safety will pass this year, but it will be without the Republicans.”
What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope
Life changed forever on Valentine’s Day 2018. What was to be a family day celebrating love turned into a nightmare. Thirty-four people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jaime Guttenberg, a fourteen-year-old with a huge heart, was the second to last victim. That she and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime’s father Fred who has become an activist dedicated to passing common sense gun safety legislation.
Fred was already struggling with deep personal loss. Four months earlier his brother Michael died of 9/11 induced pancreatic cancer. He had been exposed to so much dust and chemicals at Ground Zero, the damage caught up with him. Michael battled heroically for nearly five years and then died at age fifty.