Long Island Cares, Inc. – The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank supports the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021
(H.R. 8). In an attempt to reduce unlawful gun ownership, this bill requires all firearms sellers to possess a license. Its
goal is to prevent the sale of unregistered guns to individuals lacking industry-standard background checks.
In our role as the Regional Food Bank for Long Island, we have numerous partnerships with veteran service agencies,
mental health organizations, and schools located in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Through our own array of direct
service programs, we have witnessed firsthand the effects of stress, trauma, and mental illness.
It is important we realize these organizations are providing services to people often in the midst of the worst day of their
In recent years, many of our partners have started displaying signs denoting their place of business as a “gun free zone.”
lives. It is well documented that there is a direct link between stress and aggression. Whether it is the result of job loss, a
death in the family, the end of a relationship, or a pending eviction, our friends in local government and the nonprofit
sector are dealing with people in high stress situations. They need to be kept as safe as possible so they can focus upon
helping their new and existing clientele. Equally vital is the preservation of the safety of the diverse populations we
collaboratively support with various health and human services.
We realize this legislation will not eliminate all instances of violence. However, if this bill significantly reduces the
catastrophic repercussions associated with the presence of a gun(s) during volatile situations, then it will save countless
American lives. We applaud the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 8 in March and call upon the Senate to pass
this bill as quickly as possible. In 2020, there were 19,379 gun violence deaths in America. This unnerving statistic
excludes 24,090 gun involved suicides.
Paule T. Pachter, A.C.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael W. Haynes
Chief Government Affairs Officer