WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the following statement in response the House passage of the HR 38: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017:

"By passing The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 today, Congressional Republicans made it abundantly clear to the American public and law enforcement community that safety and security comes second to their pledges to the NRA. The first concrete action this body has taken in response the numerous gun tragedies our nation has experienced is to make it easier for people to carry hidden, loaded guns in our communities. The irony is not lost on me; this bill epitomizes federal overreach and undermines states’ rights to regulate firearms – especially in states like New Jersey who have made tremendous progress to limit the proliferation of guns.

When 28 children and educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary 5 years ago Americans asked Congress, “What are you going to do?” When Dylann Roof gunned down 9 worshippers at Mother Emanuel AME’s Bible Study, Americans asked Congress, “What are you going to do?” When 49 club patrons were mowed down while trying to enjoy a night out at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, my colleagues and I sat on the House floor for over 24 hours and demanded immediate legislative action to curb the American gun epidemic. Barely 2 months ago a single gunman shot and killed 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas. Just over a month ago, 26 more worshippers were killed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas right in their pews.

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Today, with the passing of this harmful legislation, we’ve got our response. The next time a mass shooting occurs, Republicans should pray for forgiveness, for not only their complacency and dereliction of duty, but in for the men, women and children we continue to lay to rest because of senseless gun violence and our cowardly inaction.”

In October, Watson Coleman re-introduced the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, legislation that would place limits and safeguards on the online market for ammunition. Ahead of this vote today, since January 2015 - the start of Watson Coleman’s tenure in the House of Representatives - the House has taken one formal action on firearm legislation – to roll back a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. The database is used to determine eligibility for buying a firearm.