Rep. Maloney, Da Vance, Local Electeds, & Gun Safety Advocates Call On Gop Congressional Leaders To Publicly Reject Bills That Would Weaken Gun Safety Protections, In Wake Of Las Vegas Gun Massacre

Oct 7, 2017
Press Release
• Bills To Weaken Silencer Protections And Force All States To Recognize Out-Of-State Concealed Carry Permits Are Still Pending Before Congress

NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, local electeds and gun safety advocates to call on House Speaker Paul Ryan to publicly commit to not allow votes on the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (HR 3668) and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (CCRA) of 2017 (HR 38). The group gathered at the Gandhi statue—a symbol of peace and non-violence, in Union Square Park.

“Congress’s first priority should be to keep people safe, but when it comes to gun violence we are failing miserably,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It is time for Republicans in Congress to abandon efforts like the SHARE Act and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that would weaken our gun safety laws and put New Yorkers at the mercy of the weakest gun laws in the country. Instead, we need to pass common sense, effective reforms like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and stricter gun trafficking laws. These will help save lives, while at the same time respect the Second Amendment. A strong majority of the American people support these reforms; it’s time that a majority in Congress did so as well.”

“Here in New York, we are fortunate to have some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, and those laws have contributed to us becoming the safest big city in America,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., co-founder of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence. “Since 1990, New York City has accounted for 25 percent of the decline in homicides nationally. In Manhattan, murders fell by 92 percent during that same time period. Those public safety gains are a direct result of smart policing, strategic prosecutions, and strong gun laws championed by our Governor, congressional representatives, elected officials, and gun safety advocates. I thank Rep. Maloney for bringing us together in the aftermath of yet another mass killing to tell our country’s lawmakers in Washington that we will not allow them to chip away at the progress we have made by passing life-threatening legislation like the SHARE and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Acts.”

The SHARE Act would eliminate restrictions on silencers and instead treat them as ordinary firearms, amongst other provisions dangerous to public safety and law enforcement officers. The CCRA would force all states to recognize concealed carry weapon permits from other states, regardless of how lax those state permitting laws may be.

The leaders also called on Congress to pass common sense gun safety reforms, such as universal background checks, an assaults weapons ban, and increased penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases. And Congresswoman Maloney released a letter she sent to Speaker Ryan, full text below.

"We stand together today to grieve for those killed and injured in Las Vegas and to demand leadership and action from our lawmakers,” said Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “Easy access to guns repeatedly leads to senseless carnage—from mass shootings to daily gun violence killing more than 90 Americans a day.  We must take on the gun lobby and their dangerous agenda and we will not back down.  Instead of "thoughts and prayers", this public health crisis must be addressed now with policies and programs that will safeguard our families and communities." 

“This is about saving lives and preventing tragedy. As a father to two young boys, I want my kids to grow up in an America without guns,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “But right now, Republicans seem to want a handgun on every street corner and a silencer sold in every store. It puts all of us in danger — and it’s devoid of common sense. We don’t need more giveaways to the gun lobby, and we need more than just “thoughts and prayers." We need smart gun laws. That’s why I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for leading the fight in Washington, and I want to thank all of the advocates who are standing up for right over wrong.” 

“The prospect that New York would be forced to honor other states’ concealed-carry laws by federal legislation is preposterous,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “And the notion than New Yorkers would stand silent as silencers are classified as ordinary firearms defies common sense. I’m proud to help sound the alarm against these truly dangerous proposals being considered in Washington.”

"Strong gun laws save lives," said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Chair of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, and its New York affiliate. "Here in New York, the NY SAFE Act and other state laws have helped ensure that New York has one of the lowest rates of death from gun violence in America. Congresswoman Maloney and many of her colleagues from New York have fought valiantly for years for federal laws like background checks on all gun sales nationwide, which are supported by a large majority of Americans and would make our country a safer. For too long the corporate gun lobby and its allies in Congress have opposed these common sense proposals, causing needless suffering and death. This year, they have compounded this track record of neglect by putting forth some truly perverse bills, like the SHARE Act and so-called Concealed Carry Reciprocity, that would undo 80 years of federal regulation and undermine our ability to protect ourselves with sensible state laws. I am proud to stand with Congresswoman Maloney to say that this is totally unacceptable."

“In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in America’s modern history, the last thing our country needs is watered down gun control laws,” said Assemblymember Dan Quart. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is a vast federal overreach that could have dangerous consequences in New York. This bill would legalize bringing firearms into school zones, make the jobs of our law enforcement more difficult, and pour an additional 2 million more guns into our city. I urge Congress to reject any law that would put more Americans at risk of gun violence.”

“Forcing states like New York with effective gun control measures to recognize concealed carry permits from states with lax gun laws is dangerous and wrong,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. "After last week's mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the tens of thousands of gun deaths by suicide, domestic violence, and accidental shootings every year, Congress must reverse this backward step. It's time for Congress to stand up to the NRA and I'm grateful to Representative Maloney for taking the lead in opposing this dangerous bill." 

"These bills are reckless, dangerous, and the absolute opposite of what Congress should be doing after the tragic violence in Las Vegas," said Council Member Dan Garodnick

 

Letter to Speaker Ryan

 

October 7, 2017

The Honorable Paul Ryan

Speaker

U.S. House of Representatives

The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

 

Mr. Speaker,

This week the House was scheduled to consider H.R. 2406, Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or the SHARE Act, which would reduce current restrictions on buying silencers, among other things. Yet after the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, you decided to hold off on bringing up this bill. In light of the mass shootings, and overall gun violence, we are seeing in this country, I urge you to publicly state that H.R. 2406, as well as H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, will not be brought up for consideration on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Congress needs to take action to strengthen gun violence prevention laws, not weaken them.

No advanced country in the world even comes close to the U.S. with regards to gun violence rates. Every day, 32 Americans are murdered with a gun. America has 42 times as many firearm homicides as England and Wales, 20 times as many as Australia, and more than six times as many as Canada. We also own more guns than any other developed nation. In fact, the United States—which accounts for just 4.4 percent of the world’s population—has almost half of all civilian-owned guns around the world. If having more guns makes you safer, we’d be the safest country in the world. We are not.

Instead of taking steps to reduce gun violence, Congress has consistently considered legislation that would weaken gun safety laws and put more innocent Americans at risk. The SHARE Act is a bill that would make matters worse. Under the National Firearms Act of 1934, purchasing suppressors, or gun silencers, requires federal registration and a special license. These are reasonable requirements, given the additional risks that guns with silencers pose to law enforcement and communities. Yet, the SHARE Act would remove these restrictions and allow silencers to be purchased as ordinary firearms. That’s unacceptable, and I hope you will not allow this bill to move forward.

H.R. 38 poses even greater risks. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 would force all states to recognize concealed carry weapon permits from other states, regardless of how lax those state permitting laws may be. That would mean that residents of states like New York, which has strong gun safety laws, would now be at the mercy of states with the weakest laws. This ties the hands of states legislatures around the country, and poses an unacceptable risk to my constituents and millions of others across the country. Our states have chosen to take Constitutional steps to protect our residents from gun violence. The federal government should not force us to live by a weaker set of standards and, thus, put our residents’ lives and well-being at risk. I strongly you to reject this bill and assure us that it will not get a vote in the House.

Too many lives are being lost to gun violence. There are common-sense, effective reforms that we can put in place now that will help save lives, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment. I urge you to ensure that Congress does not weaken the gun safety laws we have now and instead work in a bipartisan way to help reduce gun violence.

Thank you for your consideration.

                                                                                          Sincerely,

                                                                                          CAROLYN B. MALONEY

                                                                                          Member of Congress

Background

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.

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