Leahy, During Senate Dem Filibuster To Force Debate On Gun Safety, After Orlando: Senate Must Pass Commonsense Steps To Support Law Enforcement & Protect Americans In Their Communities

Leahy: Senate Must Pass Commonsense Legislation
To Support Law Enforcement & Protect Americans In Their Communities

WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016) – As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) moved a series of gun safety bills through committee to bring common sense reforms to our nation’s gun laws. Speaking on the floor on Wednesday during an unscheduled floor discussion led by Senate Democrats to force a debate and votes on gun safety issues in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Leahy called on Senators to come together in the wake of the worst shooting in American history to pass legislation that will support law enforcement and promote public safety.

“In the wake of tragedies like the one in Orlando, whether the victims are members of the LGBT community, African American church parishioners, first graders in an elementary school, college students, moviegoers, or others in our community, we are called as Americans to come together in solidarity,” he said. “We come together in support of the victims, their families, law enforcement personnel and first responders, and the entire community. And we come together to try and find a way to prevent further acts of senseless violence. We are at our best as a Nation when we come together.”

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Leahy convened three high profile hearings of the Judiciary Committee on the issue of gun safety. The Committee also reported four bills to curb gun violence under Leahy’s leadership including legislation to improve and expand the background check system, ban assault weapons, improve school safety, and combat the practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms.

Earlier this year, Leahy reintroduced the bipartisan Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act to make clear that the straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms are federal crimes. The legislation strengthens ineffective laws exploited by criminals including the San Bernardino shooters to obtain firearms through a straw purchaser.

“The American people are rightfully demanding action instead of rhetoric,” Leahy said. “This is not about politics. This is about keeping Americans safe. I am a responsible gun owner, and I do not take this issue lightly. I have fought for years to pass these commonsense measures and I will continue to do so.”

Senator Leahy’s full statement is available online.

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