Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.:
“One year ago, 20 beautiful children—all 6 and 7 years old—and six brave educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a tragedy that remains impossible to comprehend.
“The massacre was the product, in large part, of our nation’s weak gun laws—laws that allow military-style assault weapons to be sold legally to unstable civilians, criminals and domestic abusers, often at gun shows or on the Internet without a basic background check.
“Background checks work and must be expanded. The 16 states that require background checks on private handgun sales see 38 percent fewer women killed by their partners and 39 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns. Congress must meet its responsibility and pass a law to significantly expand background checks.
“In addition to expanding background checks, we must also not abandon efforts to limit the number of military-style assault weapons on our streets. These assault weapons, often used in mass killings like Sandy Hook, were never intended to be used by civilians. They are designed to kill the maximum number of people in the shortest amount of time, and I firmly believe they have no place in our schools, malls, theaters or businesses.
“Polls consistently show public support for banning the sale and manufacture of assault weapons—the law of the land between 1994 and 2004—and support from a cross section of police chiefs, mayors, clergy, medical professionals and educators.
“I am encouraged that, since Sandy Hook, five states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York—have imposed or strengthened bans on assault weapons or large-capacity ammunition magazines. Now is the time for Congress to meet its responsibility and get these weapons of war off of our streets.
“Sandy Hook was an unthinkable tragedy. It is my hope that we remember how we felt that tragic day and honor all the innocent victims of gun violence by finally putting in place responsible gun safety protections to make sure it never happens again.”