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GUN VIOLENCE

Throughout my career in Congress, I have pushed for common-sense reforms to our gun laws that would keep deadly weapons off the streets, out of our neighborhoods, and away from dangerous people who would use them to do harm. I am a cosponsor of more than a dozen common-sense gun safety measures, and I have been a vocal proponent of universal background checks, the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, and limitations on particularly dangerous weapons that serve no legitimate purpose for hunters or other sportsmen.

Earlier this year, I introduced the Armor-Piercing Bullets (APB) Act, to restrict the sale of the military-grade, armor-piercing M855 5.56 NATO “green tip” round. The round was designed for use in the M16 assault rifle, but it also fits into several easily concealed handguns.

I have led the charge for nearly a decade on a federal ban on the sale of armor-piercing handguns. My Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act would bar the sale and import of the Belgian made Herstal Five-seveN and all similar weapons.The Five-seveN, known within Latin American drug cartels as the “mata policia” – the “cop killer” – was purpose-built as a compact, body-armor piercing handgun. Nidal Malik Hasan – the Fort Hood shooter – used a Five-seveN with an extended magazine.

I was a strong supporter of the bipartisan Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would have prevented people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from passing federal gun background checks. Sadly, none of these measures – not even the one narrowly tailored to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns – broke through gun industry opposition.

I remain deeply troubled by the pattern of terrifying mass shootings – from Columbine through Fort Hood, Sandy Hook, Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino and from the assassinations of NYPD officers Liu and Ramos to the massacre at Mother Emmanuel in Charleston. The list goes on. The United States sees on average a mass shooting every day. This must stop. So I will continue to press for smart, widely-supported gun regulations.