Congressman DeSaulnier comments on White House announcement on gun safety

On Tuesday, January 5, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D) made the following statement after attending President Obama’s announcement on the Administration’s executive actions to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. Last month, DeSaulnier requested that the President take executive action on a series of gun safety initiatives (letter here). Significant amongst these, after researching the issue, DeSaulnier found an opportunity to strengthen across the board procedures on how federal law enforcement officers store their guns so that the tragic situations that occurred in the Bay Area that resulted in the deaths of Kathryn Steinle and Antonio Ramos will not happen again.

“I commend President Obama for taking necessary executive action to address the gun violence epidemic in our country.

Twenty-six years ago my father took his life with a gun. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, and that if we appropriately fund mental health research we could help millions of people who struggle with the same demons my Dad faced. In fact, although more attention is often paid to homicides, gun suicides account for more than 60 percent of gun related deaths. Today’s announcement includes critical investments in expanding mental health treatment and recordkeeping for background checks which are critical to this effort.

I have long advocated for simple, reasonable reforms that will help save lives in California and across the nation. On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day, and 151 are treated for gun assault in an emergency room. The firearm homicide rate in the United States is a shocking 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 comparable countries.

Today’s announcement is a courageous step in the right direction. The commonsense measures outlined by the President would greatly protect the lives of both our citizens and law enforcement officers. I look forward to working with the President on this and other gun safety efforts.”

As a California legislator, Mark introduced legislation that would require gun owners to notify law enforcement if their firearms had been lost or stolen within 48-hours of reasonable discovery. He also introduced bills promoting the use of smart gun technology.

DeSaulnier was asked if he was blaming Kate Steinle’s murder, which occurred in San Francisco, last year, on the theft of the police officer’s gun, instead of the man, who was in the U.S. illegally, who shot and killed her, and if he could have just obtained a gun in some other way, the Congressman did not respond.

He was also asked what could the President’s Executive Order have done to prevent any of the mass shootings in the U.S. over the past few years.

“As the President said in his address we should not be restricted by the thinking that no one reform could have stopped each and every act of gun violence that have occurred,” DeSalunier responded. “The measures that both the President and I are proposing are intended to stop future acts of gun violence and save future lives.”

DeSaulnier represents parts of Antioch and Contra Costa County in the U.S. House of Representatives in California District 11.

Contact the Congressman via his website at https://desaulnier.house.gov/contact.

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