Gun Violence Prevention
Over the past decade in the United States, over 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence and millions have been victims of other crimes involving a gun. While I do support the Second Amendment, I am deeply concerned with the continued gun violence in our country and I support enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence.
The escalation of gun violence in our country threatens the safety and security of our loved ones. During the 114th Congress, the House and Senate leadership continuously resisted calls to bring common sense gun safety measures to a vote. I shared the public’s frustration with the failure of each chamber to pass reforms as incidents of mass violence continue to take place and hope to work with my colleagues in the 115th Congress to address this issue.
President Obama’s executive actions to combat gun violence in our country made our communities safer. These executive actions included common sense measures that expanded the use of background checks by all sellers of firearms, regardless of whether they sold firearms in stores, on the Internet, or at gun shows. The steps taken by the President Obama also made the background check system more effective and efficient. Furthermore, President Obama’s executive actions facilitated the reporting of mental illnesses to the background check system, increased mental health treatment across the country for those in need, and drove new research into gun safety measures. All of these measures were crucial in acknowledging the proliferation of gun violence as the majority’s leadership in Congress prevented meaningful actions from taking place.
Ultimately, it is up to Congress to pass long-term reforms. Throughout my time in Washington, I have supported measures aimed at reducing gun violence and am currently a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. During the 114th Congress, I supported measures that would go further than the President Obama’s executive actions. I was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3926, the Gun Violence Research Act. H.R. 3926, introduced by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), would have given the Centers for Disease Control the authority to research the causes, mechanisms, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries with respect to gun violence. I was also an original cosponsor of H.R. 4269, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). This legislation would have prohibited the sale, transfer, manufacturing, and importation of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than ten rounds, while protecting hunting and sporting rifles, and assault weapons used by members of the military and law enforcement. It is my hope that Congress will come together to pass meaningful gun safety reforms as they are introduced in the 115th Congress.
More on Gun Violence Prevention
While in Washington this week I sent a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, attended a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing and CHLI Conference, and participated in the Democratic protest on the House Floor.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, in the wake of the of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, Congressman Sires joined House Democrats’ sit-in on the House Floor to demand that House Republicans bring commonsense, bipartisan legislation addressing gun violence to a vote.
(Newark, N.J.)– As the nation continues to grieve in the wake of last week’s deadly terror attack in Orlando, today U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ) led a rally in Downtown Newark with Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10) along with anti-gun violence advocates, members of law enforcement, LGBT activists and community leaders in support of common sense solutions that reduce gun violence.
This week marked the beginning of the New Year. While in Washington, I attended a Foreign Affairs Committee markup, met with the Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States, and sent a letter to President Obama regarding Iranâ€™s recent missile tests.