Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement today after the National Rifle Association press conference addressing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"On the same day families lay three more children to rest in Newtown, the National Rifle Association wrongly called for increasing the number of guns around vulnerable children. The NRA says it wants armed guards in our schools and playgrounds, but what it ultimately wants is to guard its outmoded ideological interests. It is time we end the stranglehold the NRA has on gun control policy in our country. This group has wielded disproportionate political influence and has fought any meaningful Congressional gun control efforts tooth and nail. The NRA may as well stand for "No Restrictions Allowed'.
"Now is the time to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. We need to close the gun show loophole that allows anyone to go to a gun show and buy a gun without a criminal background check. We should ban assault clips with large magazines that enable mass killers, and make it more difficult to obtain concealed carry permits. These are all common-sense steps, and now is the time for action.
"We do not need automatic or semi-automatic weapons on our streets. We do not need more weapons in our schools or near our children. Enough is enough."
Rep. Markey has long supported reasonable legislative restrictions on assault weapons and other particularly dangerous guns. In March 1994, Rep. Markey urged then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher and then-Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen to place an emergency moratorium on the importation of military style assault weapons flowing into the U.S. from China. He organized 113 of his colleagues in the House in a letter to President Clinton urging him to use his executive order powers to permanently ban the import of these semiautomatic weapons. Estimates ranged from 425,000 to two million of these modified rifles, including the popular AK-47 and the Uzi, that had been imported since 1991 and were selling for under $130 apiece. President Clinton imposed a ban on the importation of these guns in May 1994 as part of the renewal of China's Most-Favored Nation trading status.