Today, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement after attending a White House event during which President Obama and Vice President Biden announced comprehensive recommendations for executive and legislative action to prevent gun violence, including legislation championed by Cummings to create a dedicated firearms trafficking statute:
"I commend the President and Vice President for taking strong, common-sense steps to curb gun violence in our communities. I am particularly encouraged that the Administration has endorsed legislation I have been working on for years in response to requests by law enforcement officials to combat illegal gun trafficking. This proposal should be one of the most bipartisan bills Congress considers this year because it is supported by law enforcement and does not affect law abiding gun owners. The Administration is doing what it can do, so it is now up to Congress to come together and take serious, meaningful steps to keep our nation's children safe."
Over the past month, Cummings has been working closely with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and others on legislation to be introduced next week to create a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to assist law enforcement officials combat the flow of weapons into the hands of criminals.
In 2011, Cummings issued a staff report entitled "OUTGUNNED: Law Enforcement Agents Warn Congress They Lack Adequate Tools to Counter Illegal Firearms Trafficking." The report documented how numerous law enforcement officials testified before Congress that a dedicated prohibition on firearms trafficking would help them more effectively combat the illegal sale and transport of guns in the U.S. and internationally.
In the 112th Congress, Cummings and Maloney introduced the Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act of 2011 (H.R. 2554). This bill was supported by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents over 26,000 federal agents and officers from 65 agencies, as well as other organizations.
The New York Times and Washington Post have also called for legislation to tackle firearms trafficking as part of an overall effort to address gun violence in this country.