Morelle joins in backing legislation to ban assault weapons, require enhanced background checks

Posted 1 February 2023 at 5:14 pm

Press Release, Congressman Joe Morelle

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit) joined more than 170 of his Congressional colleagues today in reintroducing two key gun reform measures in honor of Gun Violence Survivors Week: a comprehensive national Assault Weapons Ban and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.

This week (Feb 1-7) marks the date where gun deaths in the U.S. surpass gun deaths in peer countries for an entire year.

“If we’re going to be serious about gun reform, we need to start with two of the most common-sense measures: a national ban on assault weapons and enacting universal, comprehensive background checks,” Morelle said.  “Eight of the ten deadliest mass shootings in recent history involved guns that would have been banned for purchase had we passed this legislation.”

Mass murders carried out in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Colorado Springs were committed by gunmen using a lawfully purchased assault weapon. They are responsible for killing 10 people at a grocery store, 19 children and 2 teachers at an elementary school, and 5 people inside an LGBTQ+ nightclub.

“These military-style weapons have exactly one purpose – to decimate as many people as possible, as fast as possible,” Morelle said. “They are weapons of war and they have no place in our communities. The best way to honor Gun Violence Survivors Week is by taking action to prevent these deadly tragedies, and that’s exactly what these bills will do.”

The Assault Weapons Ban would prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, while protecting hunting and sporting rifles and assault weapons used by members of the military and law enforcement.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would require a background check in all places guns are sold – not just in brick-and-mortar stores.

Over 100 outside organizations and 61% of Americans support this legislation, including the American Federation for Teachers, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Center for American Progress, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, March for Our Lives, Newtown Action Alliance, Junior Newtown Action Alliance, and NoRA.

“Gun violence leaves an indelible mark on each individual and community it impacts. We must support survivors and work to end gun violence so no one else has to endure what they went through,” Morelle said. “Banning assault weapons and requiring background checks are crucial steps towards protecting our community and stopping these devastating mass shootings from taking more innocent lives. I’m proud to co-sponsor these important bills and I look forward to continuing the fight for common-sense gun reforms.”