Common-sense Gun Safety

Dear Friend,

In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, Congress passed legislation to make sure individuals determined to be incapable of using a firearm safely were referred to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This week Senate Republicans repealed a rule put in place as part of that effort to keep firearms out of the hands of those whose mental health might present a safety threat to their communities. That is disturbingly irresponsible.

Even the National Rifle Association has called it common-sense to prevent people with mental illness that pose a danger to themselves and others from purchasing a gun. In fact, after the Sandy Hook shooting, Republicans who blocked congressional efforts to expand background checks to all commercial firearms sales routinely pointed to the need to focus on mental health to reduce gun violence. 

This week's vote exposes just how little action they are willing to take to prevent gun violence and protect communities. That's what background checks do, and why I'm disappointed in yesterday's vote and the larger inability of Congress to act on real steps to protect public safety.

We owe it to the American people to take action to reduce gun violence. The overwhelming majority of Americans continue to support legislation to expand background checks. New Mexicans can count on me to continue fighting for common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities, while still respecting our constitutional rights.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senator