Comedic actress Amy Schumer joined her second cousin, Senator Charles "Chuck" Schumer, on 3 August to advocate for a new gun control bill sponsored by the New York senator.
The actress tearfully remembered the two women who were fatally shot during a recent screening of her movie Trainwreck in Louisiana, saying there was a way to stop mass shootings.
"I've thought about these victims each day since the tragedy," she said during the press conference. "People say, 'Well, you're never going to be able to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,' but they're wrong. There is a way to stop them."
According to the Associated Press, the legislation sponsored by Senator Schumer would attempt to fix the background check system by creating a monetary incentive programme for states that contribute a wealth of information to the federal database that blocks gun sales to people with criminal records or a history of serious mental illness.
The bill would also penalise states that do not submit records to the federal database, the AP reported. Senator Schumer told reporters his bill is focused on improving the background check system instead of placing restrictions on buyers.
The popular comedian told reporters that she had always supported smarter gun laws but that the shooting by gunman John Russell Houser during a screening of her movie made the issue "extremely personal."
"I'm not sure why this man [the gunman] chose my movie to end those two beautiful lives and injure nine others, but it was very personal for me," the actress tearfully said, according to the NY Post. "Enough is enough. These shootings have got to stop. I don't know how else to say it."
She added, "I got about a million emails from friends telling me, 'It could have been any movie,' and I'm trying to believe that. But I'm not sure. I think the idea of women's equality making anyone upset is not anything I'll ever understand."
The actress said she expected backlash for her decision to advocate for gun control. "I'll handle it the way I've handled it the last 10 years," she said. "I've had death threats and a lot of hate directed toward me. But I want to be proud of the way I'm living and what I stand for."
According to the Post, the Inside Amy actress is planning to visit the families of the two young women who lost their lives in the Lafayette shooting on 23 July.
Fifty-nine-year-old John Russell Houser entered Grand 16 movie theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana and opened fire. The gunman shot 11 people, killing two and injuring nine others, before turning the gun on himself.