Expand background checks to all purchases
Over 77% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats agree on the need to close the gun-show loophole and require background checks on all firearm purchases. That is why Dean voted in favor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which passed the House for the first time in 2019 but is now sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk in the Senate.
Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban
In the 10-year period during which the Assault Weapons Ban was in place, gun massacres decreased dramatically—and they’ve increased dramatically ever since it expired. That is why Dean became an original cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. Hand grenades, bazookas, machine guns and other weapons that create mass carnage in a matter of seconds are already banned from our streets; it is time to take the same reasonable approach to assault weapons like those that have been used in the deadliest mass shootings.
Keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people
Dean supports common-sense measures to keep guns away from domestic abusers, violent criminals and suspected terrorists, including “no fly no buy” proposals. Dean also supports extreme risk protection order laws which allow concerned family members or law enforcement officials to petition a court for temporary restrictions of a person’s access to guns if they present a clear danger to themselves or others.
Continue to fund CDC research into gun violence
Dean believes we must declare gun violence a national health and public safety crisis, which would require federal agencies to work more closely together to investigate the root causes of the epidemic and collaborate on solutions to reduce the incidences of gun violence, including suicides. He will continue to support funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do this work in the meantime.
Support mental health and anti-bullying programs
Dean understands that our public schools lack the resources necessary to provide adequate numbers of mental health professionals and counselors who can help identify and treat children suffering from mental illness, and he will work to fix that. He also believes we need stronger anti-bullying measures—like Minnesota’s Safe and Supportive Schools Act—in our public schools around the country.