CONGRESSMAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN
Maryland’s 8th District
For Immediate Release
June 14, 2016
CONTACT:  Ian Jannetta – 202-225-1527
Van Hollen Statement on Gun Safety Efforts in Wake of Orlando Massacre
Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement on gun safety efforts in the wake of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub:
“As we continue to mourn those we lost in Orlando, we must focus as a nation on what can be done to prevent the next massacre on innocent Americans. Strategies to reduce violence and make it harder for those who wish to cause terror are not new – we could vote and pass legislation today. But common sense reforms have been repeatedly blocked by those in Congress who are quick to hold moments of silence, then turn their backs on communities that have endured horrific bloodshed and are crying out for action.
“If you are on the no-fly list or are being investigated for ties to terrorism, you should not be able to buy a gun in America.
“If you have been convicted of a hate crime, you should not be able to buy a gun in America.
“And if you are buying a gun for sport or personal protection, you should not have the option to buy an assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition magazines designed for the battlefield to kill the most people as quickly as possible.
“I have long supported legislation to enact these common sense strategies, and I’m proud that Maryland has been a leader by requiring trigger locks to prevent accidental shootings, banning assault weapons, limiting high-capacity magazines, and requiring those wishing to purchase a gun to first obtain a license. But a state-by-state approach is not enough.
“I pledge to do everything in my power as a Member of Congress to hold those who are blocking common sense reforms accountable. But I also implore all Americans to rise above the divisive rhetoric of the gun lobby and the hateful voices who aim to turn one group of Americans against another. Dividing us by race, religion, or sexual orientation diminishes our humanity and fosters more violence, not less. The voices of reason and compassion must drown out the voices of fear and hate.”