Two Democrats familiar with assault weapons from their time in the military say that “mass shootings are occurring at an alarming rate” and are calling for lawmakers to reinstate a ban to keep the high-capacity firearms out of civilian hands.
“Mass shootings are occurring at an alarming rate and will continue unless we stop the easy access to weapons of war,” Democratic Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillKatie Hill launches effort to protect Democratic majority in House House panel approves B boost for defense budget Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker MORE (N.J.) and Jason CrowJason CrowThe United States must lead the way on artificial intelligence standards Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates MORE (Colo.) wrote in an op-ed published on Monday in USA Today.
Sherill served in the Navy and Crow served in the Army.
The pair also touted “common sense” gun laws from their states, highlighting Colorado’s universal background check legislation and New Jersey’s claim to have the “strongest gun laws in the nation.”
Their call for an assault weapons ban follows two mass shootings last week in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left more than 30 people dead and dozens of others injured. Both shootings featured assault-style weapons.
“Since returning home from our tours of duty, we have watched in horror as military assault rifles have found their way into our schools, malls, movie theaters, music festivals and places of worship, giving a single disturbed individual the power to inflict mass casualties. Each time, Americans cry out for leadership while Congress refuses to act,” they wrote.
The two members of Congress also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) to bring gun control measures that have passed in the House to the floor in the upper chamber.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ... must stop playing political games and bring gun safety bills to the Senate floor. Senators must have the courage to tell the American people where they stand and not hide behind the majority leader any longer.”
The Democratic-controlled House passed a universal background check bill in February, which McConnell has not called for a Senate vote.
An assault weapons ban has not been in place since 2004, when a 1994 bill signed by former President Clinton expired.
Clinton, in the wake of the recent shootings, has urged lawmakers to reinstate the bill. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE, the Democratic presidential front-runner, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday also backing the ban.