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Time for a Moment of Action on Gun Violence

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House Floor this afternoon, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) again called on Congress to take action to help prevent gun violence. His remarks come one day after a shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon that left one student and the gunman dead.

“The Congressional response to the senseless loss of our children, educators, friends, and neighbors to gun violence has been silence – moments of silence on this Floor, amplified only by the cowardice from those in this body who refuse to stand up for basic public safety,” Yarmuth said.

“Enough with the moments of silence. It’s time for a moment of action from Congress to prevent gun violence.”

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF HIS REMARKS

Since the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012, there have been 74 school shootings in the U.S. According to data compiled by USA Today, a mass shooting takes place every two weeks in America.

On Sunday, a man and woman in Las Vegas murdered two police officers and a bystander before taking their own lives. And on May 23, a Santa Barbara City College student went on a rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., killing six people and himself.

While the Republican-led House has yet to debate a single bill to reduce gun violence during this Congress, Yarmuth is cosponsoring the following legislation:

-H.R. 1565, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to strengthen and expand the criminal background check system, including requiring background checks on all commercial gun sales;

-H.R. 138, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which would prohibit the sale or transfer of magazines, belts, drums, feed strips, and similar devices with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition;

-H.R. 452, the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act, which would make firearms trafficking a federal crime and strengthen penalties for straw purchasers who buy guns for those prohibited by law from purchasing them;

-H.R. 1728, the Enforce Existing Gun Laws Act, which would provide the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) resources and authority to effectively enforce existing gun laws by repealing riders on appropriations bills that severely limit ATF research and tracking into gun-related crimes.

 

Full text of his remarks:

Mr. Speaker, yesterday’s deadly shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon was the 74th school shooting in America since a gunman murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

That’s nearly one school shooting per week. More than half have occurred at K-12 schools.

These shootings are becoming so frequent that one company saw a business opportunity and is marketing bulletproof blankets to elementary schools.

But the Congressional response to the senseless loss of our children, educators, friends, and neighbors to gun violence has been silence: Moments of silence on this Floor, amplified only by the cowardice from those in this body who refuse to stand up for basic public safety.

Eighty-six Americans lose their lives to guns every day, and Americans are 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in the rest of the developed world.

The American people want us to act: 92 percent support expanded background checks, to close loopholes in the law and help ensure dangerous people can’t get guns.

Mr. Speaker, enough with the moments of silence. It’s time for a moment of action from Congress to prevent gun violence.