The four members of Rhode Island's Congressional delegation will join together and the U.S. Federal Courthouse early Friday afternoon to call for action to reduce gun violence.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined with U.S. Representatives David Cicilline and James Langevin to discuss the need for stronger gun violence prevention in addition to mental health laws in the wake of the recent shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The delegation called for a ban on military-type assault weapons, limiting access to high-capacity ammunition clips, and closing the federal loophole that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without background checks typically required by a licensed dealer.
"I served in the Army, and I've used assault weapons," said Reed. "Let's be clear -- they are designed to rapidly kill. We can't stop all gun crimes, but Congress can help prevent mass-shooting massacres by working on a bipartisan basis to reinstate common sense gun safety laws and improve access to mental health care. Things like limiting access to military-grade weapons and better background checks will help save lives and make our communities safer."
Whitehouse stressed the importance in addressing gun control issues in the wake of recent shooting tragedies. "From getting rid of high-capacity ammunition magazines to improving access to mental health services for troubled individuals, there is obviously more we must do to keep our communities safe from the kind of horror we saw last month in Connecticut," stated Whitehouse. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in the weeks ahead to pass the best possible legislation to achieve that goal."
Langevin took a stab at the leadership of the National Rifle Association. "The vast majority of gun owners in Rhode Island and across the country are responsible and law-abiding citizens, and polls show that they don't believe every gun safety law is an infringement on their rights, in contrast to the NRA's leaders," said Langevin.
Congressman Cicilline touted his recently introduced legislation that would effectively close loop holes that allow gun dealers who lose their licenses to liquidate assets without background checks.
"With gun-related incidents continuing to harm families all across our country, we have a responsibility to take the actions necessary to end this cycle of violence by ensuring that criminals and those with serious mental illness do not have access to firearms," said Cicilline. "That's why I recently introduced the Fire Sale Loophole Act, a commonsense bill that would prevent gun dealers who lose their licenses from liquidating their inventory without running background checks on their consumers."