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Kaine Urges Leader McConnell To Let The Senate Vote On Legislation To Address Gun Violence

Watch the floor speech here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered a floor speech honoring the victims of gun violence tragedies, including in Virginia Beach and at Virginia Tech, and calling on Majority Leader McConnell to let the Senate vote on gun violence prevention measures, including universal background checks and high-capacity magazine limits. On the Senate floor, Kaine shared the story of Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor and one of the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Librescu sacrificed his own life to save his students during the shooting.

“He survived the Holocaust. Think about it. He survived the Soviet takeover of his country and then he came to this nation and loved it, but he couldn't survive the carnage of American gun violence, but he did at least decide he wouldn't be a bystander. That is what we are called to do in the Senate of the United States, not be bystanders… We have to be willing to take up and debate and vote on commonsense measures to keep Americans safe from gun violence,” Kaine said in his speech.

Referring to the Virginia Tech tragedy, Kaine said, “We learned a powerful and painful lesson that day, which is if your background check system has loopholes and gaps, disasters will result. So I join with my colleagues who say House Bill 8 that’s come from the House, that's a comprehensive background check system bill that keeps weapons out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves or others, is something we should absolutely pass.” 

Kaine has long supported commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, including universal background record checks prior to gun purchases, responsible limits on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a ban on bump stocks, and changes to hold gun manufacturers responsible. 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 to incentivize states to implement Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) to restrict firearms access from individuals who the court determines are a danger to themselves or others.