Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement after the Senate failed to pass amendments to the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649).
“The safety of our children and communities should never be put at risk by partisan gridlock. It is outrageous that the Senate could not come together on common sense gun safety legislation despite public support for so many of these measures. I support universal background checks for all firearms buyers but I was willing to accept a bipartisan compromise that at least moved us in the right direction. Ninety percent of Americans – Democrats, Republicans, NRA members and others – support some kind of expanded background checks, yet the Senate fell short of the supermajority needed to approve a bipartisan compromise.
“I am sympathetic to the interests of legitimate hunters and collectors, but we cannot allow political fear to take hold when almost 3,500 individuals have lost their lives to gun violence in the U.S. just since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. We should reinstate the Federal ban on military style assault weapons. We should prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines, clips and other mechanisms that hold more than 10 rounds at a time. We also must take steps together to strengthen our mental health system, make our schools safer, crack down on gun traffickers, straw purchasers, and reduce the glorification of violence. As lawmakers, we cannot stand idle after each tragedy, failing to take action. We know that we won’t be able to stop every tragedy, but we absolutely can save lives.”