Maloney and Survivors hold sit-in on National Day of Action for Gun Violence Prevention

Jun 29, 2016
Press Release
Recent polls show that 92% of Americans support expanded background checks and 85% of Americans support banning people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns.

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.

Maloney, and those gathered with her, demanded that Speaker Paul Ryan allow for an up-or-down vote on the bipartisan legislation currently proposed to strengthen and expand background checks for gun purchasers and ban people on terrorist watch lists from buying guns. Assemblymembers Brian Kavanagh and Rebecca Seawright, and Council Member Ben Kallos voiced their support and expressed the need for gun safety regulations at home in New York City. The survivors in attendance shared their personal experiences that have led them to support gun violence prevention. Among those who shared their stories were: Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Leah Gunn Barrett; Regional Organizing Manager of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Kim Russell; Ella Thomas and James Gary from Harlem Mothers SAVE; Marie Delus; and Colonel David Menegon.

The event was streamed through Facebook Live. The video is available here.

“Today, all across New York, all across the country, Americans are sitting in and standing up because we are tired of watching as each day 89 people die from gun violence,” said Congresswoman Maloney.‎ "We are tired of being told that the solution to gun violence is more guns. We are tired of massacres like Orlando and Sandy Hook. And we are tired of tweets and prayers that do nothing to stop the bloodshed. Today, we are here to continue the movement that began on the House floor last week. We are sitting in to demand action. It is time for a vote to keep guns away from dangerous terror suspects, a vote to require background checks on all gun sales, a vote to stop gun trafficking, a vote to lift the ban on gun violence research, a vote on common sense. It’s time for gun violence to end.”

“Just one week after the historic sit-in on the House floor, today leaders in Congress will hold yet another historic event to urge our elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives to hold a vote on bipartisan legislation that protects the rights of law-abiding Americans, keeps guns out of the wrong hands, and saves lives,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions. “I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for helping lead the fight against our nation’s gun violence crisis. Speaking is difficult for me. But I haven't been silenced. And neither should the American people. Their Representatives must vote to make our communities safer.” 

"Gun violence has forever changed my life and the lives of my loved ones plus dozens I don't even know,” said Kim Russell. “There is a ripple effect that extends far beyond the bullet wound. Seventeen years later and I still suffer from bouts of PTSD after being shot during a robbery and losing my friend. Victims of gun violence never heal, we just learn to live with it uncomfortably. I often think about my right to live without fear and loss from gun violence, too bad our GOP legislators don't seem to consider my rights."

"We want to thank the NY Democratic delegation for their historic sit-in to demand a vote from Speaker Ryan on gun safety legislation,” said Leah Gunn Barrett. “The American people have had enough of congressional inaction in the form empty thoughts and prayers and want their members to act to pass universal background checks and an assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazine ban. New York's gun safety laws are a model for the nation and we are proud of the legislators who stood up to the NRA leadership to protect New Yorkers and all Americans from the preventable epidemic of gun violence. New York legislators who vote against these sound measures will have to explain to the voters why they don't support extending the same protections against gun violence that exist in New York to the nation."   

"Congress has to stop pawning people's pain for their own purposes - to get re-elected. I am done protecting Congress and their agenda,” said Diana Alvarado. “It's time for Congress to stop playing games with our pain and actually do something to stop this madness."



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. She participated in the historic House floor sit in on June 22, 2016 and spoke four times during the protest.


H.R. 4269: Assault Weapons Ban

For 10 years, the U.S. banned the use of semiautomatic assault weapons, but this law expired in 2004. Now more than ever, we need to make sure that these weapons of war are not on our streets and our communities.

This bill would ban the sale or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity magazines, like those used in tragic mass shootings in Orlando and Newtown, Connecticut.


H.R. 1076: Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act

Under current law, over 2,000 terror suspects have purchased guns in the past ten years. This bipartisan bill would close the “terror gap” and prohibit those on the FBI terrorism watch list from purchasing guns and explosives.


H.R. 4603: Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Under existing law, those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes may still purchase firearms, even though we know they pose a danger to our society. This legislation would ensure that those convicted of misdemeanor assault against a victim based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability cannot purchase dangerous weapons. The law already restricts gun purchases for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, and this legislation takes a common-sense step to prevent violent hate crimes.


H.R. 2612: Lifting the ban on public health research (Maloney Lead House Sponsor)

On average, 32,000 deaths and 76,000 injuries are attributed to guns each year, yet since the 1990s political pressure has frozen public health research on this national epidemic.  Even the author of the original ban, former Rep. Jay Dickey, regrets the outcome and President Obama’s administration has laid out a research plan.

Maloney’s bill would devote $10 million each year to CDC research on gun violence, to better understand this epidemic and determine the best policies to keep our communities safe.


 H.R. 1217: Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

This bill is a comprehensive, bipartisan proposal to close the gaps and loopholes in the Brady Bill, including requiring background checks for all gun sales. In addition, this bill would establish the National Commission on Mass Violence, to examine mass shootings and other incidents to determine their root causes and risk factors.