02.23.18

Leahy Renews Support For Commonsense Gun Safety Laws

As the Senate returns to session after the President’s Day recess, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has renewed his support for commonsense gun safety laws.

“As are most Americans, I have been in awe of the students of Stoneman Douglas High School,” Leahy said.  “In the wake of unspeakable tragedy they have become the nation’s voice, displaying incredible poise, passion, decency and courage in their calls for action.  I stand with them.  Congress must finally act and pass commonsense measures that have languished for too long at the bidding of a gun lobby that cares more about its profits than about people.  Now is the time for Congress to muster its own courage.”

For years Leahy has been a leading voice in the Senate for commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence and make communities safer.  As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, following the horrific school shooting in Newtown, he held hearings and advanced legislation that would have expanded background checks to close the gun show and Internet sale loopholes, banned assault weapons, and provided resources to improve security at schools.  This effort included Leahy’s own bipartisan bill to help shut down the black market of firearms by strengthening tools to fight straw purchasing and trafficking.  All of these bills were blocked on the Senate Floor under pressure from the gun lobby. 

Leahy continues to support these steps and has also supported legislation banning high-capacity magazines, outlawing bump stocks, holding gun manufacturers liable for negligence, and barring those on the Terror Watch List from acquiring firearms.  All of these measures have been similarly opposed by the gun lobby.

Leahy said:  “There is no single solution that would solve gun violence.  But, taken together, these measures would save lives by keeping the most deadly weapons out of the most dangerous hands.”

Leahy’s campaign staff recently searched through 25 years of records and found no contributions to his Senate campaigns from any gun-rights affiliated group.  However this week his campaign did discover a total of $9000 in contributions from two gun advocacy groups between 2008 and 2012 to his separate leadership political action committee, which he uses to support other candidates for the Senate.  Upon learning of these contributions from gun advocacy groups he directed his campaign staff to donate those funds to an organization dedicated to preventing tragedies like the school massacre in Parkland, Florida. 

 

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