WASHINGTON —Today, just weeks after calling on President Barack Obama to investigate and pursue all possible options under his executive authority to reduce gun violence, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) welcomed news reports that the President will use his executive authority to expand background checks and address the egregious gun show loophole.
“There should be no question as to the legality and necessity of this bold, effective Presidential action. It is essential due to Congressional inaction -- regrettably and reprehensibly making Congress complicit in the continuing epidemic of gun violence,” said Blumenthal. “Almost exactly three years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, this Presidential initiative will help stem a public health crisis -- an epidemic of gun violence every bit as deadly as an insidious disease. As we close another year with an estimated 30,000 gun deaths in America, I hope that this announcement is a first step in spurring a comprehensive response from Congress.”
“I’m grateful and relieved upon hearing that President Obama will reportedly use his office to expand background checks and save lives. For three years, Congress has failed the families of the Newtown victims and victims of gun violence across the country. As I wrote when we first urged the president to make this decision, it’s beyond comprehension that Washington is turning a blind eye to the murder and mayhem in the communities we serve,” said Murphy. “Time and time again, Americans have said they want our laws to assure that only law-abiding citizens can own guns. The President should be applauded for doing what my colleagues in Congress refuse to do – listening to the American people and doing something to save lives.”
Murphy and Blumenthal were joined by 24 of their colleagues in sending a letter to the President last month, specifically urging him to eliminate a loophole that currently allows individuals without a federal license to conduct high volumes of gun sales at gun shows, over the internet, and elsewhere, all without conducting background checks. U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5), Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, sent a similar letter signed by 114 of his colleagues in the House.