Gun violence continues to plague communities across the country. Too many Americans are gunned down in cities and towns every day and tragic massacres such as the shootings at Virginia Tech University, Fort Hood, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut are all too common. These horrifying incidents serve as reminders that Congress needs to fight for common sense policies to make Americans safer.
Congresswoman Maloney has long supported sensible gun regulation, starting with support of The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, named for President Reagan’s press secretary, Jim Brady, who suffered grievous injuries in the assassination attempt on the President. That law provides for background checks for most handgun purchases, and has stopped thousands of dangerous individuals from buying firearms.
Since that historic act, Congresswoman Maloney has pushed several key bills to crack down on gun violence by making gun trafficking illegal, allowing federal public health agencies to conduct research into gun safety, close the gun show loophole, and support innovative “smart gun” technology. She has also cosponsored legislation to require universal background checks, limit the number of rounds within magazine clips, and renew the expired assault weapons ban.
Gun Trafficking Prevention: In America it is too difficult for law enforcement to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and too easy from criminals to get their hands on guns. Congress needs to do everything in its power to help police and prosecutors bust trafficking rings that funnel guns into our communities. To combat gun trafficking, Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act, the first bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for those who aid in gun trafficking .
Research to Reduce Gun Violence: The United States averages 23 gun related deaths each day. It is a public health crisis and public health agencies should have the ability to develop and pursue violence prevention and mental health research. Congresswoman Maloney supports lifting the ban on gun violence research, and has introduced legislation to provide $10 million annually to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this purpose.
Smart Gun Laws: Congresswoman Maloney is a strong advocate for Smart Gun laws, which take advantage of modern technology to increase gun safety through common-sense policies. That is why in June 2015 she introduced the Handgun Trigger Safety Act. This bill requires that all handguns manufactured five years after the law is passed utilize “authorized user” technology. This means that only the owner of the gun will have the physical capability to fire it. This technology would help prevent accidental gun tragedies—especially accidents involving children—and keep criminals from using stolen handguns. The bill would also require that within ten years all guns that are sold or transferred are retrofitted with this technology.
Universal Background Checks: Federal law prohibits felons, the mentally ill, and others from owning a firearm, yet our current system is riddled with loopholes that allow guns to be bought and sold without this basic safeguard. There is bipartisan consensus that this system must be reformed to require a background check for all gun sales. Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, which would close a loophole for one of the main sources of gun sales without background checks- gun shows. This bill would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.
- Renewing the Assault Weapons Ban: Congresswoman Maloney cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 and was present when then-President Clinton signed the bill into law. But the ban was allowed to expire in 2004. Congress needs to reestablish this ban to help prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of violent criminals, including gang members, drug dealers and terrorists. In 2013 Congresswoman Maloney cosponsored H.R. 437, the Assault Weapons Ban. With the high number of massacres that America has endured over the years, there is a common thread. The weapon of choice has often been a semiautomatic assault weapon. Congress should do all in its power to keep the public safe. The Assault Weapons Ban would go a long way to ensuring that.
For other legislation and related documents click here.
More on Gun Safety
Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which I am a senior member, held a hearing on preventing the loss of lives to illegal gun crime. In theory, this is a long overdue discussion for Congress, and the committee should be applauded. If only the hearing had served that purpose.
Following today’s news that House Republican leaders will be including a gun-related measure similar to that of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in an anti-terrorism legislative package to be voted on next week, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) released the following statement:
NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney was joined at Carl Schurz Park by gun safety advocates, community members, and survivors of gun violence to stage a sit-in for the National Day of Action for Gun Violence Prevention. Democrats across the country held events today as a follow-up to last week’s historic sit-in on the house floor.
In 2004, the national federal assault weapons ban expired. Since then, we have seen 10 mass shootings that employed the use of an assault rifle, six of them since 2011, when Republicans took control of Congress.
We’ve lost more than 170,000 people to guns in since 2011, 14,000 of them innocent children. How many more people have to die, how many families torn apart, until Congress finally says, “Enough is enough”?
The Queens congressional delegation hit the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday as more than 50 Democratic representatives from across the country staged a sit-in to demand a vote on gun legislation.