Gun violence has always been an issue in America, but like the majority of Americans, I am deeply alarmed by the rise of gun violence we’ve seen over the past decade.

The 2nd Amendment is an essential tenant of the Constitution and our democracy, but we must take steps to ensure the safety of all Americans by preventing guns from getting into the hands of criminals or those with dangerous mental health issues.

In Congress, I would support universal background checks. Taking this step would require background checks for all gun purchases, which would close loopholes that allow felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and domestic abusers to obtain weapons without facing a background check.

To make universal background checks effective we must also crack down on straw purchasers and hold negligent or corrupt gun dealers accountable.

We must also close the “boyfriend” and “stalker” loopholes that allow abusers and stalkers to purchase weapons even if they have been convicted of domestic abuse or misdemeanor stalking.

I also support lifting the Congressional ban on gun violence research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) so basic research needed to help prevent gun deaths can be done.