Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate) On Gun Violence Votes In The Senate

The Senate has cast aside the views of the vast majority of Americans who support commonsense steps to improve gun safety, and we can only imagine the sense of abandonment felt by the parents of Sandy Hook's children and by the many other victims of senseless gun violence.

This has not been the Senate’s finest hour.

I have such great respect and appreciation for the Senate's special role in our system of government.  I have seen the Senate rise up in courage and conviction and bipartisanship to meet the nation's most urgent needs.  On those occasions, the Senate has become the conscience of the nation.  It is a painful disappointment to acknowledge that the Senate has not risen to this moment and to this challenge.  

Brazen distortions have been used to scare law-abiding gun owners and to bend politicians to the will of well-funded and ‘win’-at-any-cost special interests.  Purposely misleading scare tactics have been used that are upside down of the clear facts.

As a Vermonter and a gun owner I know that responsible gun owners in Vermont understand the value of taking such sensible steps as closing loopholes in the existing background check system or making it more difficult for people to traffic weapons to drug cartels and other criminals. 

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