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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Congressman Sherman Fights Back on Gun Violence


Sep 23, 2011
Press Release

Washington DC – Congressman Sherman (D – Sherman Oaks) released the following statement on his recent efforts in Congress to keep our communities safe from gun violence.

“I have worked to encourage stronger enforcement of existing gun laws and to pass new common sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.   I have consistently earned a 100 percent vote rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.”

Read Congressman Sherman’s Full Statement on Gun Control:

High Capacity Ammunition Magazines

On January 8, 2011, a disturbed individual, Jared Loughner, began shooting during an open meeting held by my friend and colleague Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Tragically, he wounded 13 individuals, including Rep. Giffords, and killed 6 others, including a 9-year old girl.  Reasonable gun control laws could have prevented this devastating event, or at the very least saved some of these individuals.

Specifically, there could have been fewer victims had legislation been in place prohibiting the sale of high capacity ammunition feeding devices, like the one that Mr. Loughner used on that day.  If Mr. Loughner had been using a traditional magazine (carrying less than 10 rounds), he would not have been able to shoot as many rounds before having to stop and reload, and a bystander could have stopped him much sooner.

To prevent a similar tragedy in the future, I have joined with Rep. McCarthy in introducing the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (H.R. 308).  The bill would prohibit the sale of any ammunition magazine holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition (with reasonable exceptions for law enforcement and other government personnel).  The bill is currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee.  

High capacity feeding devices simply should not be on the market – they are not necessary for either self-defense or sporting.  I will continue working with my colleagues to make sure this important bill becomes law.  

Protecting Sensible Gun Control Legislation

In March of last year, the Supreme Court decided McDonald v. City of Chicago.  While this case was a setback for gun control efforts, I am pleased that the Court held that the Second Amendment is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”  By saying this, the Court has rightfully acknowledged that states and localities, as well as the federal government, can continue to pass and enforce sensible gun control legislation.

Clearly, our recent history indicates a dire need for such reasonable gun control laws.  The rate of firearm deaths in the United States for those under age fourteen is nearly 12 times higher than the combined rate in the 25 other “industrialized” nations.  The United States lost 31,224 people to firearms in 2007 alone (the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control has statistics).  And, incidences like the 2007 Virginia Tech and 1999 Columbine massacres, in which disturbed students murdered a combined 45 people, continue to occur.  

These tragedies must serve as solemn reminders of the government’s duty to regulate guns.  In an effort to prevent such future shootings, I will continue to work with my colleagues under the new Supreme Court guidelines to pass tough gun control legislation.

Closing the Gun Show Loophole

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act requires criminal background checks of those purchasing guns through federally licensed gun dealers.   However, unlicensed sellers (persons who are not in the day-to-day business of selling guns) are not required to do background checks.   This loophole causes particular problems at gun shows.  In most states convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, and those who are mentally ill and dangerous can walk into any gun show and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers without being stopped and with no questions asked.   This is particularly concerning considering the popularity of gun shows.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that more than 4,000 gun shows are held in the United States each year.  

To prevent guns from ending up in the hands of criminals or terrorists, I have cosponsored the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (HR 591), which would close this outrageous loophole.  This legislation would require criminal background checks on all gun sales that occur at gun shows.  The bill is currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee.  I will work with my colleagues to make sure that this important legislation becomes law.

Cop Killer Guns

We should ban the Five-seveN handgun, a “cop-killer” weapon designed to penetrate the protective armor police officers wear to keep them safe.  Despite being powerful enough to pierce a bulletproof vest from over 200 yards away, this gun is light and easily concealed, making it even more dangerous.   

To protect our officers, I will again join with Rep. Engel to introduce the Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act, which would ban the Five-seveN pistol and its ammunition.  Congress passed armor-piercing ammunition bans in 1986 and 1994 to protect law enforcement from similar guns, and this bill would update these bans to include the Five-seveN handgun.  

I will continue to fight to enact meaningful measures that keep guns off our streets and out of the hands of criminals.