Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, released the following statement in reaction to the task force's hearing today on the need for background checks and the remarks by National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he said it was "insane" to support current background check proposals.
"Today's hearing highlighted the effectiveness of background checks in helping to keep weapons out of the wrong hands and the broad support for expanding them," said Langevin. "The NRA is proving to be completely out of touch not only with the law enforcement officers we heard from today, but also with gun owners, who were also represented at the hearing, and the public at large. Wayne LaPierre's argument that expanded background checks only impact law abiding citizens is tantamount to saying any law to deter criminal activity is worthless because criminals don't obey the law. That is not an approach for making our communities safer.
"Our constituents are demanding that Congress overcome gridlock to deal with major challenges. It would be inexplicable for us to allow the NRA leadership to use nonsensical arguments to stop us from wider implementation of background checks when nine out ten Americans support expanding them. We deserve an up or down vote."