May 02 2019
Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called for an end to Republican inaction on gun reform legislation in the aftermath of two recent shootings in the span of one week. Video of her remarks is available here.
“For the second time this week, our nation is mourning lives that were taken by gun violence and in places that are supposed to be sacred and safe.
A synagogue in Poway in my state, California, and a school in Charlotte, North Carolina.
There’s an article in today’s Washington Post titled, ‘The Latest Shooting Attacks Show How the U.S. Stands Apart from the World’ it ends with the line, ‘It may not be possible to completely replicate Australia’s success, but why there has been no effort even to try is a question that puts national lawmakers to shame.’
I agree. It’s far past time for my Republican colleagues to join me in passing commonsense gun reform.
This Congress I am proposing three pieces of legislation. An assault weapons ban, an extreme risk bill and a bill to raise the legal age to purchase assault weapons to 21, just 21 years old, which would match the existing age restriction for handguns.
Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and others have legislation that requires universal background checks. A large majority of Americans supports this requirement and the House has already passed it this year.
Finally, I’d just like to remember two Americans. Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a 60-year-old worshipping at Chabad Poway, who stepped in front of the gunman in the shooting to save others, including her rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. The second is Riley Howell, a student at UNC Charlotte in class yesterday when the shooting broke out. He reportedly charged the gunman, pinning him down until officers arrived, very likely saving the lives of his fellow classmates and giving up his own in the process.
These two are heroes and they are victims in an unnecessary, relentless stream of gun violence. I’ve been on this committee for a very long time, 25 years. I authored the assault weapons [ban]. It existed for 10 years. Mass shootings diminished during those times. And yet, now no restrictions and event after event after event. It’s very hard for me to believe that any one of us carry out our responsibility by allowing these kinds of things to happen unchallenged.”