U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today voted for common-sense legislation that strengthens and clarifies Second Amendment rights and helps reduce gun violence. However, Sen. Landrieu voted against the assault weapons ban and restrictions on the size of magazines, saying these provisions went too far. She released the following statement:
"The Manchin-Toomey compromise was a hard-fought but balanced approach that would reduce gun violence and make it much harder for criminals and mentally ill individuals to access guns. Currently, guns can be purchased at gun shows without any background check whatsoever, leaving a gaping hole in our gun protection system. However, even with my support, the measure did not garner the 60 votes necessary for passage in the Senate. I believe that we must do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. I'm confident that most people understand the importance of closing this loophole while preserving the rights of law abiding individuals to own and use guns for hunting, sport and self-protection," Sen. Landrieu said.
"In addition, the Manchin-Toomey amendment, happily for gun enthusiasts, explicitly prohibited the federal government from creating a national registry of gun owners; it benefited the approximately 950 licensed gun dealers in Louisiana by putting them on a level playing field by eliminating the unfair advantage now enjoyed by unlicensed dealers; and it clarified that veterans can purchase a gun at their duty station as well as in their home state."
Law enforcement officials from across Louisiana supported the Manchin-Toomey legislation and praised Sen. Landrieu for her vote today.
"The legislation that the Senate voted on today provides law enforcement with the tools we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable, while respecting the rights of law abiding citizens. We appreciate Sen. Landrieu's leadership and courage in seeking to give us the support we need to keep our communities safe," St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. and St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said.
"Sen. Landrieu's vote to help us reduce gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally challenged is much appreciated by law enforcement officials in Natchitoches Parish," Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones said.
Sen. Landrieu also was praised by hunters and sportsmen for her vote today.
"We commend Senator Landrieu's support of Louisiana's sportsmen by voting to keep guns in the hands of hunters and shooters while keeping them out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill," said Gaspar Perricone, Director of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance.
Louisiana natives Sandy and Lonnie Phillips the mother and step-father of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., also thanked Sen. Landrieu for her support of efforts to reduce gun violence.
"Our family's story shows that gun violence is an issue not bounded by state lines. We are grateful that Sen. Landrieu voted in favor of this common-sense legislation for the families of Louisiana and for families throughout the nation that are affected by gun violence all too often," the Phillips said.