VIDEO: Rep. Deutch Demands Sensible Action on Gun Violence
This afternoon, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) participated in a press conference introducing the Keep Americans Safe Act, a bill that would prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in this important measure to address gun violence,” Congressman Deutch said. “Thirteen years since the large capacity ammunition ban lapsed, Congress has repeatedly failed to act to protect the American people. Gun owners – whether for hunting or self-defense – have no need for magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition, and restricting it will prevent the scale of mass shootings that we’ve seen all too frequently in recent years. It’s time for Congress to wrest itself from the N.R.A.’s clutches and pass sensible legislation to address the gun violence epidemic that just left 59 dead in Las Vegas.”
Click here to watch a video of the press conference. A transcript of the Congressman's remarks is below.
Congressman Deutch joined Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), who represents Newtown, CT, and members of the Nevada Congressional delegation including Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03), and Congressman Ruben Kihuen (NV-04) to announce the legislation.
This bill was endorsed by leading law enforcement organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the veterans’ organization VoteVets, the gun owners’ group American Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership, as well as major gun violence prevention organizations throughout the country.
“The horror that the shooter at Sandy Hook was able to inflict with high-capacity magazines is something I have never forgotten,” Congresswoman Esty said. “I became more convinced after every mass shooting that large-capacity magazines serve no other viable purpose but to maximize the loss of human life. Our schools, churches, movie theaters, concerts, offices, and shopping theaters have been turned into brutal killing fields, and it must stop now. Every bullet that escapes the barrel of a gun has the potential to end human life – every single one. Every second a shooter spends reloading, and not firing, is a second that a potential victim has to escape. We saw this when former Representative Gabby Giffords and others around her survived the shooting in Tucson. There is simply no good reason why sportsmen and women need more than ten rounds in a magazine. No sportsman or woman needs thirty rounds to kill a deer. It’s shameful that we protect our deer better than we protect our people. We need to say that enough is enough. I hope my colleagues will join me in support of this legislation.”
“Like Rep. Esty, I believe that high-capacity magazines have no place in our neighborhoods and communities,” Congresswoman Titussaid. “They endanger law enforcement and bystanders by allowing dangerous shooters to fire more rounds without reloading and do not provide any recreational benefits to the public. After the 1 October shooting, Nevadans want and deserve action to upend the status quo. How much longer will we have to wait to close the background check loophole, prevent bump stocks from falling into dangerous hands, and ensuring criminals cannot access high-capacity magazines designed for the battlefield? Now is the time for Congress to hold hearings, debate measures, and pass laws that will save lives and protect communities.”
“Last week, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in the heart of the community where I grew up,” Congressman Kihuen said. “We know that high-capacity magazines, which allow shooters to fire dozens of shots without having to reload, directly contributed to the deadliness of this horrific event. The American people are counting on us to take steps to reduce the tragic gun violence affecting communities across the country. That’s why I am proud to help introduce the Keep Americans Safe Act. Congress should take decisive action and pass this legislation to help prevent unnecessary loss of life caused by gun violence.”
"It is more urgent than ever that we take meaningful action to reduce the toll of widespread gun violence,” Congresswoman Rosen said. “There’s no single solution, but I know we can support the Second Amendment while taking reasonable steps to reduce the carnage inflicted on our communities by gun violence. High-capacity magazines have no practical purpose for hunting or self-defense, they increase the threat for potential victims trying to find safety, and they make it more challenging for law enforcement to confront and neutralize an active shooter. Banning high-capacity magazines is a commonsense step Congress can take to decrease the scope and widespread destruction of tragic mass shootings.”
Transcript of Congressman Deutch's remarks:
Congressman Deutch: Thanks very much Congresswoman Esty for leading the charge on this, and to Congresswoman Titus and Congressman Kihuen and Congresswoman Rosen, we’re grateful to have you with us here today.
Our collective heart breaks for what you and your constituents and your communities experienced.
Here’s what happens.
Time and time and time again, we go to the House floor, we bow our heads, we choke back tears thinking of the innocent lives lost, the families torn apart at the loss of their loved ones, and the communities – like Las Vegas, like Newtown – that have been devastated.
And we know that there is no perfect remedy for ending the gun violence epidemic in our country. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t and shouldn’t take meaningful steps toward that goal.
High capacity magazines are not needed for hunting. They are not needed for self-defense.
They aren’t designed to be a useful tool for the millions of smart and safe and responsible gun owners in America.
Their only use – and the way they’ve been used time and time again – is to kill on a mass scale; dozens of people in one go.
And if you put a bump stock attachment on a high capacity magazine gun, you’ve created for yourself a military-style killing machine.
This is a common sense proposal that we’re here talking about today for the sake of our public health and for the sake of our national security.
I truly believe that if Members of Congress were free to honestly vote on gun violence legislation, have a chance to do the job that our voters sent us here to do, then the Keep Americans Safe Act would pass with a very strong majority.
The American people want Congress to act. We as a nation have suffered far too many mass shootings, too many senseless losses, too much gun death, and too much gun violence.
That’s why I am proud to stand with my colleagues to fight to stop this epidemic and start protecting the American people.
And I would finish with this. We heard a lot after Las Vegas, as we hear after every mass shooting, that now’s not the time for us to have a discussion about politics. Now is not the time to talk about what Congress should do. And our answer to that criticism is very simple, that the time to act is today, and tomorrow, and every day until Congress takes action and passes meaningful gun safety legislation like this.
Thanks very much.