Payne Co-Sponsors Legislation to Strengthen Gun Background Check System

Oct 8, 2015

Washington, D.C. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement after co-sponsoring the King-Thompson Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1217) to expand the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun sales, over the internet, or in classified ads:

“On October 1, I was one of 147 House members who sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner demanding consideration of gun violence prevention legislation. That same day, a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon took the lives of nine people and injured seven more.

There is no denying that we are experiencing an epidemic of gun violence in this country that chips away at the foundations of our society, taking from us family members, friends, and loved ones. It’s an epidemic of mass shootings, but also of broader and routine gun violence in our communities. As a nation, we are failing to meet the challenge of this epidemic.

We have seen the consequences of inaction: more shootings, more violence, more lives lost. Congress has a moral responsibility to take meaningful action to reduce gun violence and protect our communities. To avoid taking action, to avoid passing gun safety laws, is to abandon the very people Congress has sworn to protect and serve.

The safety and security of New Jersey is my top priority, and I continue to fight to reduce the gun violence that plagues our communities. This week, I co-sponsored the King-Thompson Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act to expand the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales. This is a common-sense, bipartisan measure that will keep our communities safe while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners.

Additionally, I was proud to author the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buy Back Act of 2013, which incentivizes gun owners to sell back guns most widely used in crime. And I support legislation to outlaw high-capacity magazines and close the illegal pipeline of guns in the U.S.

The time to act on gun violence is now. We don’t need any more political pandering, or dishonest arguments that more guns would mean less gun violence. Every day, we see how completely backward that thinking is. We cannot accept gun violence as routine, nor can we fail to act. We have a real opportunity to prevent senseless gun tragedies. Let’s take it.”

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