As the nation grieves in the wake of last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), co-Chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, today renewed his call for legislation to reinstate the ban on high capacity magazines and to require background checks for all firearm sales. Rep. Pascrell is an original cosponsor of H.R. 308, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which would reinstate the ban on large capacity ammunition feeding devices that existed from 1994 to 2004, and a cosponsor of H.R. 1781, the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would extend background check requirements to those who buy guns at gun shows and through private sales. This bill would also ensure that all those prohibited from owning guns are included in the background check database.
"Our hearts are heavy as America continues to grieve the loss of the 26 innocent lives that were taken during the senseless tragedy in Newtown, CT last week. The lives of the victims' families, along with the students and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary, are forever changed as innocence was robbed in this act of violence. Schools should be safe havens in our communities, not a place where a parent should fear for the safety of their child. But words are no longer enough to console the grieving families. We must take immediate action to stop senseless gun violence from continuing to tear our communities apart.
"I stand with President Obama in calling for meaningful action to prevent future suffering of the kind we experienced last week. Although the issue of violence in America is a complex one, there are immediate steps we can take to better safeguard our communities. We must reinstate the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, which belong in the hands of our soldiers and not on the streets, as well as take meaningful steps to close loopholes which allow guns to be sold without background checks. I urge Speaker Boehner to pass the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, the Fix Gun Checks Act, and I call on all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pursue a comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence when we return in January. This is not about infringing upon American's second amendment rights. This is about saving innocent lives."
Rep. Pascrell also announced that the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus would be working on ways to strengthen the capabilities of our nation's first responders to address gun violence.
"We must give law enforcement every tool we can to enable them to prevent gun violence in our communities. In the coming weeks I will work closely with my co-Chair, Rep. Reichert, and Members of Congress from both parties to look at ways that we can strengthen federal support for our police departments to combat the scourge of guns on our streets."