I repeat, enough is enough
On June 12, 2016, a gunman entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida and opened fire, killing 49 and wounding 58. Just over a year later, on October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on an outdoor concert in Las Vegas Nevada, killing 58 and wounding more than 500. For the survivors, the physical wounds have begun to heal. Survivors like Rachel Sheppard are learning how to walk, drive, and live their lives again. Survivors like Michael Caster are facing paralysis and wondering if they’ll ever walk again. While their physical wounds are healing, it is hard to imagine their lives ever being the same. How do you cope with the loss of a loved one, or the insecurity caused by these actions?
Congress, this week, will take its first votes on a gun measure in the wake of these devastating events. But you’d be wrong if you thought the House of Representatives was going take action to help these survivors, or to limit the dangers posed by weapons overwhelming our communities. Instead, we will vote on dangerous legislation that will weaken state firearm laws and make it easier for people with criminal histories and zero training to carry hidden, loaded guns.
The truth the gun lobby won’t admit is that gun safety protections work. States that have protections in place have less gun violence.
Yet, this is how Congress will respond to two of the worst mass shootings in American history.
With the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, every state would be forced to recognize the concealed carry standards from other states, even states with no requirement other than a pulse. While Oregon has several safeguards in place beyond permitting – like requiring safety training, a clean criminal record, and an age limit – there are 12 states that do not require a permit, or even a background check, for carrying a concealed weapon AT ALL. Oregon currently doesn’t recognize concealed carry permits from any other state, but this legislation would force our state to accept ZERO standards when it comes to individuals who want to concealed carry.
Law enforcement, not to mention Attorneys General from 17 states, overwhelmingly oppose this legislation stating that it would undermine local public safety decisions and put our communities at risk.
We cannot allow more dangerous individuals to carry concealed weapons. I will vote NO on this bill.
Over two years ago, I released a comprehensive plan to deal with gun violence like the public health epidemic that it is. There are commonsense steps we can take to protect our families. There isn’t one thing alone that will prevent horrific mass shootings, but there are a series of steps we can take that will help right now and even more in the future.
Unfortunately, the legislation under consideration this week will take us backwards and make us less safe from gun violence. I will continue to oppose any efforts to weaken our existing gun laws and fight for firearm safety legislation so that America doesn’t have to be the only developed country that cannot protect our families from gun violence.
Member of Congress