Richard J. Durbin - United States Senator (IL-D)
Dear Mr. TSR6:
Thank you for contacting me about gun violence prevention in light of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you.
I share with all Americans a profound sense of sorrow at the senseless act of violence committed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The nation mourns this event and many Americans wonder what can be done to prevent this type of tragedy in the future.
I am an original cosponsor of the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act which would reinstate a ban on magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The ban on multi-round magazines expired along with the federal assault weapons ban in 2004. I am a cosponsor of a bill that would reinstate the ban on assault weapons and would expand the definition of assault weapons to close loopholes that allow gun manufacturers to work around the previous ban.
I support universal gun background checks, which prevent the transfer of firearms without a background check by non-licensed gun sellers. I am a cosponsor of "terror gap" legislation that would give the Attorney General discretionary authority to deny gun sales to individuals who are known or appropriately suspected to be engaged in terrorism.
The majority of Americans and the majority of thoughtful gun owners and hunters agree that there must be reasonable limits on gun ownership and weapons. We must institute common-sense limits, such as barring those with a history of mental instability, those with a history of violent crime or who are subject to restraining orders, and those whose names have been placed on a terrorist watch list from owning weapons. Straw purchasers and gun dealers should face firm penalties. There should be limits on how many firearms may be purchased in one month. Those who own firearms that are within the reach of children should have protective locks on their weapons.
The United States Supreme Court has raised questions about the Second Amendment and the protections and responsibilities under this Constitutional amendment. I plan to hold a Senate Judiciary Hearing in the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Subcommittee to address this Constitutional question and how to forward on gun control.
My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families in Newtown, Connecticut, as we remember the children and teachers who lost their lives.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator