FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2016
Contact: Dan Weber
Edwards Statement on President Obama’s Executive Orders to Reduce Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement on the use of executive orders to address gun violence.
“Gun violence is at epidemic levels throughout the United States. Whether from mass shootings, armed robbery, domestic violence, accidents, or suicide, hundreds of Americans are killed or injured every day, destroying families in communities across this country. Too many Members of Congress value the support of the National Rifle Association’s organized gun lobby more than doing what’s right for American families. As a result, any attempt to pass legislation to curb gun violence has been met with fierce opposition and defeated.
“The limited actions announced by President Obama seek to address loopholes and carve outs by the National Rifle Association and their friends in Congress who have weakened our nation’s firearm laws over the past thirty years, and put more lives in danger. For example, the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 narrowed the definition of those ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing in firearms and therefore required a federal firearms license. By updating this vague term and clarifying that no matter where you operate your business you must have a license and conduct background checks, we will enhance the public safety. Additionally, by making substantial improvements to the current National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and closing loopholes that allow certain gun purchasers to avoid background checks altogether, we can prevent more of the criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from getting firearms.
“Faced with the sad reality that Congress refuses to act, I applaud President Obama’s actions. By no means does this absolve Congress from taking comprehensive legislative action and providing increased funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to carry out their duties fully. While the President’s actions alone will not end gun violence, they are a step forward in keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals and will help make our communities safer and save lives.”