WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today voted in favor of two measures to reduce gun violence. The provisions, which would have been included in the fiscal year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill, aimed to give the Attorney General the authority to block suspected terrorists from buying a gun and close loopholes in our background check system. The amendments failed to receive the necessary 60 votes needed for consideration.
"I'm deeply disappointed that pragmatic public safety measures that the vast majority of Americans embrace-including gun owners-failed to move forward. We can take tangible steps to save lives and make our country safer, and I won't stop fighting until we do," said Sen. Heinrich. "Our country is weary from violence, tragedy, and grief. After years of continued violence and senseless mass shootings, the American people deserve meaningful action from Congress. In our effort to protect the established constitutional right of individual gun ownership, it is also our responsibility as leaders to support public safety and put in place commonsense protections to ensure that firearms do not find their way into the hands of those that would turn them against our communities. I'm going to keep working on a bipartisan solution to keeping guns out of the wrong hands, because Americans deserve results--not more politics as usual."
Senator Heinrich voted for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) amendment to give the Attorney General the authority to block the sale of guns or explosives to known or suspected terrorists. Senator Heinrich is an original cosponsor of Senator Feinstein's amendment.
Senator Heinrich also voted for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy's (D-Conn.) amendment to close loopholes in our background check system to ensure that firearms and explosives are kept out of the hands of terrorists, criminals, and those who suffer from serious mental illness. Last week, he joined Senator Murphy's filibuster on the Senate floor to demand action on gun violence.