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Hoeffel Statement on Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban

Location: Ambler, PA


Ambler, PA (September 10, 2004) - U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel (PA-13) today issued the following statement on the impending expiration of the ban on the sale of assault weapons. Congress has refused to vote to extend the ban and President Bush, although saying he favors extending the ban, has not lobbied Congress to extend the ban which expires on September 13.

"One of the major issues of this year's presidential campaign is how best to protect America and its citizens. Yet, despite all the talk about protecting the homeland, the Bush Administration and Congress have done nothing to extend the ban on assault weapons, which is due to expire on Monday.

"The assault weapons ban passed in 1994 has been extremely effective in protecting Americans from gun violence. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, since the assault weapons ban was passed, there has been a 66 percent decline nationally in the frequency of assault weapons used in crime.

"Our first responsibility in government is making people safe. That is why it is unforgivable that the ban will expire Monday and our citizens and police officers will once again be targets. Police across the nation have lobbied Congress to extend the ban. Their cries have fallen on deaf ears.

"Ironically, this past week the Consumer Products Safety Commission announced the recall of the Super Soaker Monster Rocket Squirt Gun. I fully support making sure toys are safe for our children, but the fact that the federal government can ban squirt guns while allowing legal sales of assault weapons like Tec-9s, AK-47s and Uzis is stupefying.

"I strongly defend the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, but assault weapons are not useful in hunting or sport, and no one needs an Uzi to defend themselves or their family. We need to protect not only hunter's rights, but also our police officers, our families and our communities from gun violence."

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