Members of Congress representing the Roanoke region and Virginia’s U.S. senators issued statements reacting to President Obama’s new gun control proposals.
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, wants to take a careful look at them.
“I’m a big defender of the Second Amendment, and I generally don’t favor new gun control legislation,” Griffith said. “But I reserve the right to look these over and see if there’s merit.”
Obama outlined a sweeping series of proposals to curb gun violence, including proposed legislation to require universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
He also enacted 23 measures that don’t require Congressional approval, including ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, meanwhile, said:
“House Republicans welcome the recommendations of this task force and will consider them as the House continues to examine ways to prevent tragedies like the one in Newtown. However, good intentions do not necessarily make good laws, so as we investigate the causes and search for solutions, we must ensure that any proposed solutions will actually be meaningful in preventing the taking of innocent life and that they do not trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. We will take these recommendations into consideration as we continue to conduct our own inquiries into how to prevent these tragedies from happening.”
And 5th District Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, said in a new release:
“As our nation continues to heal from the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Congress must take a serious look at how we can help prevent future tragedies. I look forward to reviewing the proposals set forth by the President as Congress works toward keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Fifth District Virginians.”
On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va, said this:
“I applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for putting forward a well-considered and comprehensive package of proposals to curb gun violence. Thanks to their prompt efforts, we now have concrete ideas on the table for debate.
“I’ve long advocated universal background checks, including closing the gun show loophole, to ensure weapons do not fall into the hands of dangerous individuals. I am encouraged by proposals to increase security in our schools, including preparing and training school officials for emergency situations. I strongly support improvements to our mental health system. In the coming weeks I look forward to reviewing the details of proposed limits on killer magazines and combat weapons and believe we should adopt reasonable restrictions.
“The Senate must take action on this issue and I look forward to working together to achieve common sense reform that will keep our children and communities safer while preserving the Second Amendment.”
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., meanwhile, said Obama had outlined “a comprehensive, far-reaching proposal to address the issues of gun violence and public safety.”
He said the proposals will get serious consideration in Congress.
“The Sandy Hook shootings compel all of us to think anew about these issues, and I believe the status quo is not acceptable. Some of the President’s proposals are controversial, but there appears to be growing bipartisan consensus around improvements to the mental health system and broadening background checks,” Warner said.
– David Ress