Hastings’ Statement on President Obama's Executive Actions to Curb Gun Violence
Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence in America:
“I applaud the President’s executive actions to curb gun violence in America. Dismayed by Congress’ lack of motivation to tackle gun violence in our country, I sent a letter to President Obama on October 15, 2015 encouraging him to take executive action to address the gun violence epidemic.
“I am heartened to learn that the President’s actions will ensure that all individuals engaged in the business of selling firearms will be subjected to background checks and that the needed funding for these background checks will be provided to the F.B.I. and A.T.F. I was also happy to learn that Attorney General Lynch has already started to contact all U.S. Attorney Offices encouraging them to renew their domestic violence outreach. These steps will undoubtedly help to curb the gun violence crisis.
“While I support these measures, I also think Congress should have voted to enact them many months ago. It is shameful that Republicans in Congress continue to refuse any action to curb gun violence, even as tens of thousands of Americans lose their lives from guns every year.
“Congress needs to act to close the gun-show loophole, expand mental health screenings, and close the gaps in existing gun laws. Only by taking these actions can we ensure that all necessary steps are being taken to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of dangerous individuals.
“With each new tragedy that occurs, those who stand in the way of legislation to address our country’s gun violence epidemic are increasingly culpable for its continuation. This year, I intend to prioritize addressing gun violence in America.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.