Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, called for decisive action to protect Americans from gun violence as New York City reels from Tuesday’s mass shooting in a subway train as it approached a Brooklyn station.
The heinous, random shooting in Brooklyn, where the masked gunman also used smoke bombs, is just the latest in the epidemic of mass casualty shootings. The carnage – ten people shot, five of whom are in critical condition, with a total of 29 people injured – as well as the recent mass shootings in Sacramento and Dallas among many others cries out for Congress to work together with President Biden on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to pass serious, effective reforms to our gun laws.
“We are past the time when some in Congress offer only their thoughts and prayers while withholding their votes and support for real reforms that would protect people,” Rep. Jackson Lee asserted. “Congress must pass gun reforms immediately, convincingly, rapidly, and confidently, without being intimidated by the NRA or other groups that are completely out of touch with today’s realities and current facts. Millions of Americans demand protection and safety. Our responsibility as Members of Congress is to answer that call by stopping the scourge of gun violence and mass shootings.”
President Biden took a major step on Monday by instituting a new initiative to rein in the proliferation of untraceable “ghost guns” that enable criminals to evade accountability. But more must be done, and Congress does have solutions. Universal background check legislation is imperative, as background checks must be mandatory for the purchase of a firearm regardless of who is selling them, and no gun should be transferred to a purchaser without a background check being completed.
Key legislation for gun violence prevention includes Congresswoman Jackson Lee’s bill, the Kimberly Vaughn Firearm Safe Storage Act, and “red flag” bills that would allow police or family members to get an “extreme risk protective order” from a court. Additionally, to complement the Biden administration’s initiative on “ghost guns”, Congress should codify “ghost gun” restrictions into law.
“I stand in solidarity with the people of New York City as we all express our sympathy to the shooting victims and others who were injured, as well as their families and loved ones,” added Rep. Jackson Lee. “As this mass shooting, like others, spreads fear among so many, we must respond with fortitude and resilience to ensure public safety.”
“But rest assured that this shooting, and others in this incessant wave of mindless mass shootings, will not go unanswered,” Rep. Jackson Lee continued. “I demand real action for gun violence prevention and will reinforce the effort for passage of reforms to our gun access and safety laws. Because gun violence inflicts tragedies on families across the country, regardless of political party or ideology, I believe that bipartisan support for practical, effective, smart legislation that protects all Americans is achievable.”