Washington, DC – Following the bipartisan cloture vote on S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement:
“We must seize this moment, set our political fears aside, and act responsibly. America has mourned more than 3,300 victims of gun violence nationwide since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut. Each heartbreaking event is shocking in its own right but also tears us apart wondering what could have been done to prevent it from happening. I am proud that the Senate has come together to engage in a real debate on what steps should be taken to minimize the risk of future shootings. The safety of our children and our communities should never be put at risk by partisan gridlock.
“I agree with President Obama that we cannot wait for another tragedy to enact common sense, reasonable gun safety measures, especially on weapons of war that have no legitimate civilian use. I am sympathetic to the interests of legitimate hunters and collectors, but we should reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and prohibit high-capacity ammunition clips. We must take steps to strengthen our mental health system and reduce the glorification of violence in our culture. I support requiring universal background checks for all firearms buyers, but I congratulate my colleagues for coming to a bipartisan consensus on strengthening the current background check system.
“Despite lobbying efforts to the contrary, I know that we can protect our children while still protecting the Constitutional rights of legitimate hunters and existing gun owners.”