Inaction won't cut it

Dear Friend,

As a parent, I can't begin to imagine the nightmare that families in Parkland, Florida are living through as they mourn the loss of their children in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting. No parent should have to live in fear of their child never coming home from school. Just recently one of my boys went through active shooter training and that is now the norm in schools across this country.

We cannot accept these shootings--or the estimated 91 Americans killed each day by gun violence--as the "new normal."

It is no secret that I am a passionate outdoorsman and hunter, and the owner of more than a few firearms. People should be able to own firearms for both sport and self-defense. But no civilian needs an AR-15. I know that some people own and use them responsibly, but it only takes one person bent on great human destruction to do grave and permanent harm in a classroom or a crowd. We have to ask what is more important, someone's desire to own an AR-15 or for our kids to go to school secure and safe?  It's time to listen to the student leaders across this country who are rejecting this unacceptable status quo.

That is why I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft an assault weapons ban.  Those of us who know firearms well have a duty to lead these efforts and to get the details right.  We need to listen to the students and be part of the solution.  

It's time for those members of Congress who oppose common-sense, constitutional reforms to finally step up and tell us what they are going to do to protect the public. Inaction won't cut it.  

I have been deeply moved by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in Florida and young people across the country who are making their voices heard after losing classmates, friends, and family members to gun violence and are demanding action to prevent future tragedies. New Mexicans can count on me to continue fighting for real solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities.

We owe our kids that.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator