Cummings, Van Hollen, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes Call for Action on Gun Violence Prevention

June 29, 2016
Press Release
Gun Violence Survivors, Baltimore City Officials, Faith and Community Leaders Mark National Day of Action by Pushing Congress to Hold a Vote

Washington, D.C. (June 29, 2016) – Today, Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, Dutch Ruppersberger, and John Sarbanes (all D-MD) marked the National Day of Action for Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention at Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore. The Representatives were joined by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, survivors of gun violence, families of victims, and faith leaders. 

“I was proud to join my colleagues on the House floor last week to say ‘enough is enough,’ and I am proud to continue the fight during today’s National Day of Action,” Congressman Cummings said. “It is time for Republican lawmakers to treat gun violence like the scourge on our country that it is. The American people have had enough, and so have I.”

"Our message today is simple: no more business as usual in the House of Representatives until we get an up-or-down vote on common sense gun safety measures," said Congressman Van Hollen. "Today we stand with children who have seen the horror of gun violence firsthand, with mothers and fathers who have lost their sons and daughters to senseless violence, and with the vast majority of Americans who are fed up with moments of silence that are never followed by action. We will continue to demand action until the 'people's House' acknowledges the will of the American people and votes on measures to save lives and prevent the next tragedy."

“We aren't asking for much - just a chance to vote on common sense reforms that Americans overwhelmingly support to help keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals,” said Congressman Ruppersberger. “Ensuring national security is the most important job of Congress. This issue is no different.”

“Today, I was proud to join Marylanders – and the national, bipartisan chorus of Americans – who are continuing the fight for commonsense gun safety laws,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “For too long, big money special interests like the NRA have blocked Congress from taking action to reduce gun violence in American communities. But today, we’re coming together and standing up to say enough is enough.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said, “Virginia Tech. Newtown, Connecticut. Nine in a church, 23 in a restaurant, 26 in an elementary school, now 49 in a nightclub. The faces in the memorial photos are what change. The weapons are the common denominator. As we hear about mass shooting after mass shooting, in state after state – I am more convinced than ever that the common sense safety regulations we have in Maryland need to be in place across the country. Congress must act.”

“Gun violence is an epidemic that has impacted too many lives across the country and especially in big cities,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “We must work tirelessly and in partnership to deter those who want to illegally arm themselves with guns, and arrest and prosecute those who choose to illegally possess guns with the specific intent of harming our communities.”

“As an ER doctor who has treated patients dying of gunshot wounds and as the City of Baltimore’s doctor, I have no doubt that gun violence is a public health crisis,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Unlike so many medical ailments that do not have a cure or a vaccine, with gun violence, we have the power to make change, prevent injury, and save lives.”

The National Day of Action for Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention comes after Democrats sat on the House floor for 26 hours last week to demand that Speaker Ryan and House Republicans allow an immediate vote on two bipartisan, common sense gun violence prevention bills to help keep guns out of dangerous hands:

•    The bipartisan King-Thompson legislation to expand and strengthen our background check system; and, 
•    The bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ bill to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.  House Republicans have voted 14 times to block consideration of the bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ legislation.   

Republican leaders adjourned the House early for the Fourth of July recess, leaving Washington without bringing these bipartisan gun violence prevention bills to the floor for an up-or-down vote.