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
This week in Washington, the nation struggled to come to terms with yet another incident of mass gun violence which targeted young students at a Florida high school. The President also released an overpromised, yet underfunded infrastructure plan and a misguided budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2019. Additionally, I attended a Transportation Subcommittee hearing, a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing and held a number of meetings.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding yesterday’s shooting in Parkland, Florida:
As the new year begins, the growing unfinished business that remains is a pressing reminder of the work yet to be done when Congress returns to begin the second session of the 115th Congress on January 8th. Over the year, I have received almost 44,000 calls, letters, faxes and emails from constituents to voice your opinions on issues that have the greatest impact on the 8th District of New Jersey.
This week in Washington, I voted to pass disaster assistance for Puerto Rico, cosponsored more legislation to address the gun violence epidemic, met with the Prime Minister of Srpska, and discussed the Iran deal at a Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.
While in Washington this week, I cosponsored several pieces of legislation that would make it harder for guns to be converted, managed two bills on the House Floor, and I pressed a panel at the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Hearing on the urgent need for investment in transportation infrastructure. I also met with members of the New Jersey Education Association to discuss education priorities.
(Washington, D.C.) – This week, in the wake of the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas that claimed dozens of lives, Congressman Sires joined his colleagues to introduce H.R. 3962, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, led by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and H.R. 3947, the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act, led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
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.