NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Monday, June 20 at 2 pm Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) will hold a press conference on the New Jersey State House steps calling for action to reduce gun violence in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Orlando, FL last week. The press conference will focus on the impact that gun violence has had on different communities throughout the country, including the LGBT community. Pallone and Watson Coleman will call on Congressional Republicans to support measures banning those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms, banning assault weapons and requiring ID for online ammunition sales.
Advocates for reducing gun violence and for the LGBT community including the Coalition for Peace Action, NJ Million Mom March, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Garden State Equality and Imam Hamad Ahmad Chebli, of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey will be in attendance.
Last week, after a 15 hour filibuster led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senate Republicans finally agreed to hold votes on banning those on the government's terrorist watch list from obtaining gun licenses and whether to expand background checks to gun shows and internet sales. House Speaker Paul Ryan has refused to hold similar votes or a vote on an assault weapons ban despite overwhelming public support.
“As Members of Congress, it is not enough to ask for a moment of silence. It is not enough to express our thoughts and prayers,” said Pallone. “It is not enough to call for action, we must enact change. We have reached a point as lawmakers and as Americans where we have a question to answer: Can we stand up to special interests and enact the sensible, bipartisan gun reforms that the country wants and can save lives? We owe the victims of the horrific tragedies in Orlando, Newtown and so many other communities a meaningful policy change to reduce gun violence.”
“After every attempted terrorist attack, we’ve had changes in our security, from taking shoes off during screening at airports to how much liquid we can take on an airplane,” said Waston Coleman. “But after Virginia Tech, after Fort Hood, after Newtown, after San Bernardino, and after the countless lives lost in our communities every single day, Congress has done nothing to reduce gun violence. It is outrageous that you can go online to purchase and stockpile bullets without ever showing an ID; it is insanity that Congress continues to refuse to implement strong, uniform background checks before allowing someone to purchase a deadly weapon; It is appalling that the NRA can outweigh the calls of law enforcement who want to stop the sale of assault weapons. It’s time for basic changes that keep Americans safe, and it’s time for Americans from all walks of life to stand together and join us in saying enough is enough.”