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Lipinski: "Thoughts and Prayers" Are Good, But Americans Also Need Congress to Act

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) released the following statement today:

“Following the horrific school shooting in Florida and the murder of a Chicago Police Officer this week, a number of people have asked ‘what should we do about the availability of guns?’  I respect the 2nd Amendment, but I believe in reasonable limits on gun buying and ownership that will keep our communities safe and help prevent further bloodshed.

  • I have cosponsored and supported legislation to strengthen and expand background checks.  We must do a better job of preventing people who should not have guns from buying them or possessing them in the first place. 
  • We also need to reduce the lethality of guns.  I support limiting the size of ammunition clips so that shooters only have so many bullets in the gun.  I helped introduce legislation to ban bump stocks and other devices that make guns more dangerous and increase their rate-of-fire to a military-grade automatic weapon. 
  • I believe that there should be strict limitations on the availability of semi-automatic assault weapons.  Since there are millions of assault weapons legally owned in America now, I think it would be nearly impossible to outright ban these guns.  But it is reasonable that buying such assault weapons should be subject to a more stringent background check.
  • I have cosponsored bills to increase the penalties on gun-trafficking and straw purchases, which can evade Illinois’ strict gun laws and bring illegal guns into the state, or where a permissible person buys guns for someone who would not pass a background check.
  • I opposed concealed carry reciprocity legislation earlier this year, which would have the effect of permitting gun owners who have concealed carry permits from other states, often with limited regulations, to bring them into Illinois.
  • I voted against legislation that gave gun manufacturers liability protections from lawsuits. 
  • I have never taken a single dollar from the NRA, and I never will.
  • I support increasing investments in mental health treatment, so that we can get people the treatment and attention they need, and deter those who are ill from pursuing violent action.
  • I also support permitting public health research into the threat that firearms play in the health of our society.  I think it is ridiculous that Congress has continuously voted to prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies from examining or researching the consequences of gun violence.
  • And since Congress has proven itself feckless with dealing with the problem of gun violence in America, I support the creation of a select committee on gun control.  This is by no means a solution, but if it were established, Congress would have a group of members who would meet with the sole and specific purpose of examining the problem of guns in America.

“Ultimately, we need the leadership of the House, Senate, and the White House to accept that there is a problem and enable a debate towards solutions.  ‘Thoughts and prayers’ are good, but Americans also need Congress to act.”

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