United States Senator Bob Casey Insists He Supports the 2nd Amendment But Why Guns Should Be BannedSubmitted by ProudAmericanFirst on Sat, 02/09/2013 - 16:49
February 08, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about recent proposals related to guns. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
As you know, on December 14, 2012, an individual in Newtown, Connecticut forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on teachers and staff in the building. In total, the perpetrator murdered 20 students between the ages of six and seven years old, as well as six adults, many of whom heroically sought to stop the shooter and save the lives of children. Like many Americans, I was deeply affected by the scope and brutality of this act. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
The motives that led to this senseless massacre will likely never fully be comprehended. However, I believe that all public officials have a responsibility to work to prevent such an event from occurring again. This incident reflects a complex problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including funding for law enforcement officers and the mental health care system. Too many individuals with mental illness are not receiving the services they need and tragically, sometimes a small number of these individuals turn violent. I have supported access to affordable and accessible mental health services for all Americans and I will continue to review proposed solutions to improve our mental health system. As lawmakers consider an appropriate response to this challenging issue, we should consider all of the factors that could prevent such heinous acts.
As you may know, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Pennsylvania has a fine hunting and sporting tradition, and I will defend the right to bear arms as it is enshrined in our Constitution. I will continue to back the right to bear arms for purposes of self-defense, recreation, sporting and collection. However, I also believe that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School highlights very serious dangers posed to public safety by the misuse of certain weapons and technology originally developed for warfare. According to reports, the shooter was able to kill many children and adults very quickly because he possessed a military-style semiautomatic weapon. He also allegedly used magazines containing up to 30 rounds of ammunition and carried hundreds of rounds more. After much reflection and careful study of the issue, I have decided to support a federal assault weapons ban as well as legislation restricting high capacity magazines. In light of what occurred at Sandy Hook, these are two measures that will lessen the chances that this will happen again. Before supporting such a law, I would first and foremost ensure that it did not unduly abridge the right to bear arms as established by the Second Amendment.
Our Nation has already begun a critical dialogue as we examine what steps must be taken to prevent this type of tragedy in the future. On January 17, 2012, President Obama unveiled a package of proposals to reduce gun violence, which included strengthening the system of background checks, reinstating the assault weapon and high-capacity magazines ban, improving school safety and expanding access to mental health services. I look forward to reviewing these proposals in detail and to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address this complex issue.
On January 24, 2013, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced S. 150, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This legislation would explicitly permit the possession of affected firearms that were owned prior to the bill’s enactment; firearms that are manually operated; firearms used by military, law enforcement and retired law enforcement; and antique weapons. Further, this legislation lists 2,258 hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns that are entirely exempt from the ban.
This legislation would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of all semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of seven specified military features. S. 150 would further ban semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of certain listed military features, as well as ammunition magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds. The Assault Weapons Ban would also regulate the transfer and storage of permitted, grandfathered weapons and allow local law enforcement to use certain federal funds for voluntary gun buyback programs. The Assault Weapons Ban was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am not a member. Please be assured that should this legislation come before the full Senate for consideration, I will have your views in mind.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like to respond to this message, please use the contact form on my website: http://casey.senate.gov/contact/