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Democrats Push for Funding to Combat Gun Violence

April 1, 2016—Nearly 50 House Democrats signed a March 22 letter urging the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to support funding for President Obama’s executive actions to combat gun violence in the United States.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, organized the letter, which was sent to House Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).

According to a statement released by Rep. Honda, the executive actions would allow:

  • More access to mental health access to curb a majority of gun deaths, which result from suicide attempts;
  • 200 added Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) special agents and investigators, for enforcement of current gun laws;
  • 230 added Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) examiners and staff to process background checks;
  • Enhancing the National Integrated Ballistics Information network, to track ballistic crime evidence; and
  • Improving the National Instant Background Check system, to better notify local law enforcement when prohibited persons attempt to buy a firearm.

“These are commonsense improvements that increase our ability to enforce the laws we have on the books, while we protect American families,” said Honda. “Not one of these executive actions would stop Americans from legally buying and bearing firearms...Every single one of these actions would save lives.”

Announced Jan. 4, the White House’s gun initiative calls for funding the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice to research gun violence and how gun technology could affect shootings [see Washington Highlights, Jan. 8].

“While we acknowledge the fiscal impact on our federal budget, we believe that the security of the American people cannot be shortchanged – especially given the fact that many of the above programs have been underfunded in previous fiscal years to the detriment of public safety,” the letter states.

The letter continues, “We strongly believe that supporting the President’s proposals is integral to providing our law enforcement, researchers, investigators and health care practitioners with the resources they need to effectively address our gun violence epidemic and keep Americans safe.”


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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