Kaine Calls On Republican Leadership To Take Up Legislation To Reduce Gun Violence
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine called on Republican leadership to take up legislation to help prevent gun following the tragedy in Parkland. Kaine spoke about his experience working to prevent gun violence as Mayor of Richmond and Governor of Virginia, and expressed hope that the students speaking out across the country will remind Congress of its responsibility to makes our communities safer.
Key Excerpts from Senator Kaine’s Floor Speech:
“Out of the pain, what we learned is you can actually take concrete steps that will make your community safer, that will reduce gun violence. You won't eliminate it. That's beyond our power as humble people to do, but you can reduce it. If you know you can, then you must. You have a responsibility to do what you can.
“It is deep hope that after this horrible shooting in parkland, something may be different in this body. And the reason that I think this one might be different is – these students are standing up and challenging us. The children of our nation are asking adults to be adults. They are asking us to look in the mirror. They’ve posed the question starkly. What is more important to you -- your children or campaign contributions from an interest group? … The advocacy of students and their challenge to us may show us a way.
“Let's not come together after a horrible tragedy when there are meaningful steps like background record checks that we can put on the table to make us safer and fail them yet again. I ask my colleagues and especially the Majority Leader to enable us to have this debate on the floor so that we can take meaningful steps of the kind that we know will make our communities safer.”
This week, Kaine co-sponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act which would prevent individuals who are on the No Fly list from purchasing firearms.
Kaine has long supported commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, including universal background record checks prior to gun purchases, responsible limits on combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, a ban on bump stocks, changes to hold gun manufacturers responsible, and expanded mental health services. As Governor of Virginia, Kaine helped strengthen the background record check system following the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. In the Senate, he has also co-sponsored legislation to close loopholes that allow domestic abusers to legally obtain weapons and incentivize states to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and abuse.