WASHINGTON — Congressman John Carney (D-DE), a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, today released the following statement regarding President Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence:
“Federal law currently allows for the purchase of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that can fire 20 rounds in 10 seconds. In most states, there is no requirement to undergo a background check before purchasing one of these guns or magazines from a private seller at a gun show.
“President Obama and Vice President Biden have put forward a comprehensive plan to reduce violence in the United States by keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals and getting military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets. The plan announced today would also take concrete steps to increase access to mental health services and provide teachers and counselors with the training they need to identify mental illness in young people.
“In the past, many elected officials have been reluctant to support stronger gun laws, but I hope that the recent tragedies across America -- from Connecticut to Colorado -- will spur bipartisan passage of common sense proposals like mandatory background checks for gun purchases and a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.
“None of this will happen without action from Congress. In the meantime, President Obama today took 23 executive actions to strengthen the background check system, finalize important regulations regarding mental health, and develop emergency preparedness and response plans for schools across the country.
“I support these actions -- in addition to tough enforcement of existing gun laws. More importantly, I urge my colleagues to act swiftly and thoughtfully to pass legislation that will reduce gun violence and prevent more tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”