WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) released the following statement on the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013:
"It's no secret that I have always believed that law abiding citizens should be able to own firearms for both sport and self-defense. Like many New Mexicans, I own guns for those very purposes.
"However, as a parent, I couldn't watch the events at Sandy Hook last year and not be deeply affected. Too many of us have had friends or family touched by senseless shootings. We owe it to the American people to take real action to reduce the violence in our communities.
"The Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 includes pragmatic public safety measures that the vast majority of Americans-including gun owners-can embrace. I've said that I'll base my support for any legislation on whether it can realistically reduce the violence while still protecting the constitutional right to bear arms. This proposal meets that standard.
"Keeping guns out of the hands of people legally prohibited from having them is a common-sense way to prevent violence without punishing law abiding gun owners. That's what background checks do, and having been through the background check process myself on numerous occasions, I know it is not an unreasonable burden on responsible gun owners. There is no reason that firearm sales made on the internet or at a gun show shouldn't meet that same common-sense standard.
"I also support cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. If you buy a firearm in order to pass that firearm on to a criminal, you should face federal prosecution.
"Prioritizing mental health services is another key component to keeping our families safe. I'll continue working to ensure that our schools, families, and communities have the tools they need to support the mental health of our kids."