Lowey Meets with Students and Teachers on Gun Violence Prevention

March 27, 2018
Press Release

Lowey Meets with Students and Teachers on Gun Violence Prevention

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), on the heels of the past weekend’s nationwide gun safety events, today met in White Plains with students and teachers from Westchester and Rockland counties about gun violence prevention and meaningful reform to strengthen and expand gun laws.

“Today was about hearing from our youth – it’s their turn to guide the conversation,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “The bottom line is this: the right of students to go to school free from fear is more important than someone else’s right to own weapons of war. While our hearts are always with the victims of these tragedies and their families, our thoughts and prayers just aren’t enough anymore. It’s about moving forward with action.”

Lowey is a member of the congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and has been a leader in fighting to prevent gun violence, including working to strengthen background checks, close the terror gap loophole, and ban assault weapons and bump stocks.

As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Lowey was instrumental in securing a number of critical gun-safety related items in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018:

  • The Fix NICS Act makes modest improvements to our background check system.  It enforces current law by ensuring states and federal agencies are reporting the appropriate records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • The STOP School Violence Act reauthorizes and amends the 2001 Secure Our Schools program through the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, providing local law enforcement, school personnel and students with the tools they need to proactively prevent a threat.
  • Language clarifying that the CDC is able to perform research into the causes of gun violence.
  • Language that provides the proper oversight to ensure the Department of Defense reports records into the NICS background checks system. The Department of Defense failed to properly report the Sutherland Springs shooter, enabling the shooter to kill 26 people in a Texas church last November.
  • $75 million for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, an increase of $2 million from the FY17 level. Additional language provides states and tribal governments with technical assistance and training to improve the application process and ensure more grantees receive funding assistance to upload records to NICS.
  • $1.3 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which is $35 million above the FY17 enacted level. 
  • Fully funds the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) at $23.5 million. NVDRS is a data system run by the CDC that provides state and local communities with information about violent deaths across the country. This $7.5 million increase from FY17 will allow the system to include data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • $59.5 million for violence intervention and prevention programs within the Department of Justice.         

Last Congress, Lowey introduced the NICS Community Protection Act, which would close the Charleston loophole by providing 14 businesses days rather than three for a background check to be completed by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Lowey has repeatedly offered an amendment in the committee to provide funding for the CDC to conduct gun violence prevention research.