WASHINGTON, D.C. – Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey released the following statement in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Last year, Senator Markey introduced bicameral legislation with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on gun violence prevention and firearms safety.
The legislation calls for $10 million each year for six years. Senator Markey and Rep. Maloney are also the co-authors of “The Handgun Trigger Safety Act”, legislation that would support the use of personalization (or smart gun) technology that allows the purchaser of a gun to designate authorized user(s) who can operate the gun and would make the gun inoperable for all others.
Senator Markey is a co-sponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015, legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would close a loophole that allows individuals on terrorist watch lists to legally buy firearms and explosives.
“Today, we watched as terror and hate ripped through a peaceful community at the hands of an individual armed with guns. As a nation, we grieve for the victims, families and loved ones in Orlando. We are grateful to the brave first responders who rushed toward the danger. We send our love to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters who suffered this deplorable hate crime as they gathered to celebrate.
“But enough is enough.
“For too long, the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby has had a stranglehold over Congress.
“It is time to end the NRA’s reign of power. It is time to end their vise-like grip on the safety and security of our nation.
“We cannot wait any longer to put commonsense gun laws on the books. We can’t wait any longer to make our streets safer.
“Let us close the loophole that allows those on the terror watch list to purchase firearms and explosives.
“Let us close the loophole that allow online gun sales and sales at gun shows without a background check.
“Let us close the loophole that allows domestic abusers to buy guns.
“Let us close the loophole that allows straw purchasers to buy guns and flood our streets with them.
“Let us close the loophole that allows a gun sale before a background check is complete.
“Let us hold gun manufacturers accountable for the damage their product incurs and repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
“Let us ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“And once and for all, let us take our heads out of the sand on the causes of gun violence and how to prevent it. We must study gun violence like the public health crisis that it is.
“The gun violence that is plaguing our nation is our responsibility. All those in Congress who do not support these commonsense measures are on the same side as those forces that allow these massacres to happen. If you hold hands with the NRA and the gun lobby, Americans will hold you accountable for your inaction.
“After this deplorable attack in Orlando, let us denounce hate in all its forms and let us recommit to justice and forward progress in the face of terror.
“Now is the time to stand up for the families of Orlando, of Boston, of Newtown, of Columbine, of Aurora and all of the cities that are saying enough is enough.”