Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) issued the following statements after the Senate failed to pass compromise amendments that would have expanded background checks and strengthened penalties for illegal gun trafficking:
Maloney: "The failure of the Leahy/Collins amendment on gun trafficking in the Senate today--despite bipartisan sponsorship and the strong support of law enforcement agencies--is an appalling testament to the power of special interests over common sense in Washington. The failure of the Manchin/Toomey compromise is especially disappointing in the face of 90% public support for improved background checks. It is a sad day for the families of those who have died from weapons bought under these loose rules, and for the notions of representative democracy in our republic."
Cummings: "The action by the Senate today to block debate on all bipartisan gun reform measures is unconscionable, shocking, shameful, reprehensible, appalling, and utterly inexplicable. By opposing common-sense measures supported by the majority of Americans--such as expanded background checks and even bipartisan legislation to combat gun trafficking supported by the NRA--opponents in the Senate have turned their backs on the victims of Sandy Hook."
Today's vote against the anti-trafficking measure comes exactly one week after Senators Patrick Leahy and Susan Collins announced that an agreement had been reached with the National Rifle Association on the amendment.
Maloney and Cummings introduced bipartisan anti-trafficking legislation in the House--H.R. 452, The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013--together with Reps. Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) to make firearms trafficking a federal crime for the first time and impose stronger penalties for "straw purchasers" who buy guns for convicted felons and others prohibited from buying guns on their own.
More than 100 Members of the House from both political parties have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. The legislation has the strong support of local, state, and national law enforcement organizations across the country.