Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Applauds Executive Actions on Preventing Gun Violence

January 5, 2016
Press Release

Lowey has supported numerous measures to prevent innocent loss of American life caused by guns

WHITE PLAINS/NEW CITY, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (Westchester/Rockland), the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the President’s executive actions to prevent gun violence:

“We must stop the gun violence epidemic in the United States. The President is acting to prevent mass shootings and innocent loss of American lives, something the NRA-backed Republican majority in Congress refuses to do. The patchwork of state measures and porous federal laws are costing thousands of innocent American lives each year, with more than 90 people dying from firearms every day. I support the President’s executive actions and, as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will fight to fund his commonsense proposals. It is my priority to ensure families can live in safe and secure communities in the Lower Hudson Valley, throughout New York, and across the country.”

Lowey has been a leading voice urging Congress to take action on gun safety:

Ending the CDC Ban on Gun Violence Research
With more than 30,000 gun deaths every year in the United States, Congress should enable federal agencies to study this epidemic. However, for nearly 20 years Congress has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from studying gun violence and strategies to mitigate it. Lowey has offered amendments to remove this damaging policy rider from government spending bills.

Closing the ‘Terror Gap
Currently, suspects on the terror watch list in the United States are allowed to purchase firearms under federal law. The Government Accountability Office found that between 2004 and 2014, suspects on the terror watch list attempted to purchase guns from licensed firearms dealers in the United States at least 2,233 times, and were successful 2,043 times, a 91 percent success rate. Lowey co-sponsored the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 (H.R. 1076) that would give the Attorney General the authority block suspects on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms.

Expanding Background Check Wait Time
On July 17, 2015, a mass shooting during a prayer service at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, claimed the lives of nine innocent people. In the wake of this tragedy, Lowey introduced the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Community Protection Act (H.R. 3375) to increase the three-day wait time to 14 business days for federal examiners more time to perform thorough background checks.  Lowey’s measure could have prevented the tragic Charleston event from happening.

Closing the Gun Show Loophole
Approximately 5,200 traditional gun shows are held annually across the United States, attracting thousands of attendees per show and hundreds of Federal firearms licensees and unlicensed firearms sellers. This provides a convenient and centralized commercial location where criminals and other prohibited persons obtain firearms without background checks and without records that enable firearm tracing. Lowey is a cosponsor of the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2015 (H.R. 2380), which would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.

Limiting Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines
Weapons that were designed to kill or injure as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time do not belong on our streets and in our communities. Lowey is an original co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 (H.R. 4269), which would ban the manufacture of semi-automatic and other military-style assault weapons for consumer use and place restrictions on the sale of existing assault weapons. Lowey also cosponsored the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (H.R. 752), which would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.