06.29.15

AFTER SOUTH CAROLINA TRAGEDY, SCHUMER LAUNCHES NEW EFFORT TO PASS SIGNIFICANT BACKGROUND CHECK, COMMON SENSE GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION; WEAK LAWS ALLOW PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN’T OBTAIN GUNS TO GET THEM & USE THEM IN MASSACRE AFTER MASSACRE; SENATOR WILL INVOKE 1993 BRADY BILL PASSAGE AS MODEL TO EMULATE, TAKE ACTION AMERICANS ARE CALLING FOR

Schumer, Author Of Brady Law & Crime Bill, Says Better Background Checks Would Help Stop Dangerous People Who Now Get Guns With Ease

 Schumer Vows To Revive Stalled Efforts To Expand Background Checks—Current Federal Law Allows For Felons & Abusers & Even Those on Terror Watch List To Buy Guns On The Internet, At Gun Shows, & Other Places With No Questions Asked

 Schumer to Congress: It Was Tough To Pass The Brady Law in ’93, We Should Muster The Same Courage Today To Protect The American Public While Respecting Responsible Gun Owner Rights

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, author of the Brady Law passed in 1993 and a lead sponsor of the Crime Bill, today pledged to revive stalled efforts to pass common sense gun-safety legislation that better protects the American public, while respecting the rights of gun owners.  In the wake of the South Carolina massacre that tragically killed nine innocent individuals at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Schumer vowed to launch a new effort in Congress that will include a push to pass significant background check reforms and other common sense gun safety measures. Schumer said that, while we don’t know how exactly the man in South Carolina got his gun, we do know that all too frequently people who shouldn’t have guns get them.

Schumer explained that, while the South Carolina tragedy is still being investigated, it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent people, like violent criminals, abusers and the mentally ill, from too easily obtaining guns and using them to kill, sometimes in the form of a massacre. Currently, under federal law, private citizens may sell weapons at gun shows, on the internet, or anywhere else they choose without performing background checks on the purchasers, allowing criminals to purchase guns with ease. This is particularly dangerous in the southern states with lax gun laws; guns sold in this region are often linked to illegal guns that are used in crimes across New York and other states. The ease with which illegal guns find their way to New York and others states, where they are used in violent crimes—or hateful attacks—occurs via the co-called “iron pipeline.” Schumer has long fought to constrict this illegal flow of guns and said that the lack of background checks contributes significantly to the ongoing problem. Schumer says it will take a major legislative effort to channel the urgency Congress was able to muster in 1993 when he carried the Brady Bill to passage, and says he will invoke this urgency to build consensus in the Congress.

Schumer authored the 1993 Brady Bill, which amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to require background checks before a licensed gun dealer makes a sale, After the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Schumer worked with his colleagues in Congress to pass the National Incident Criminal Background Check System Improvement Act, which improved the system through which states provided the names of people who were adjudicated mentally ill or who had committed violent crimes. Simply put, states report these names to a federal database that licensed gun dealers then check before selling a weapon. Schumer said that it is clear that more needs to be done to improve this system. Schumer went on to say that we need to ensure that states report the data quicker so that a violent criminal who was recently convicted is not allowed to purchase a weapon.  Schumer also championed the efforts to expand federal background check requirements to private sellers in the wake of the tragic massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the entire Charleston community. My heart sank when I heard about the heinous attack on innocent individuals at this house of worship. We must bring to justice the person who perpetrated this awful crime,” said Senator Schumer.

Schumer continued, “If there is anything that the massacres in South Carolina, Newtown, Virgina Tech, Aurora and so many other places have taught us, it’s that we should be doing everything in our power to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of hateful, evil-doers and the mentally disturbed. It makes no difference when guns are sold or who are selling them—we must prevent deadly weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Our children have seen far too many tragedies in the country involving guns and weapons, and now is the time to put forth real, effective common sense gun safety measures that can save future innocent lives from being taken, without taking away any existing rights. I acknowledge the right—enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Heller decision—of American citizens to purchase and bear arms, however, just as the First Amendment comes with responsibilities and limits to protect public safety, the Second Amendment does as well. We have to make sure that we as a country are safe and that everyone’s right are respected.”

Schumer announced that he will renew efforts to expand federal background checks and close the loopholes that allow criminals to purchase weapons without a background check.  He also announced his support of a number of other common sense gun safety measures, including banning those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, prohibiting large capacity magazines, and allowing the CDC to research the ways to prevent gun violence. 

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