“The scourge of gun violence has made Americans going to the grocery store, movie theater, school, or their place of worship, worry whether their next outing will become the next site of a tragedy.
This isn’t real freedom. America’s nearly unrestricted access to weapons, including assault rifles, has infringed on every Americans’ ability to live without fear of gun violence in their daily lives. And the gun violence epidemic has sadly, touched every community in some way. In Milwaukee, we too often see gun violence taking precious members of our community. This is why for years, I have championed gun violence prevention measures, including measures to crack down on bad actor gun dealers, to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators, and to expand the use of community de-escalation tactics and training to empower our residents.
After decades of inaction on the gun violence epidemic, I am glad some Republicans worked with Democrats to advance critical gun safety legislation.
Though this legislation lacks other crucial measures I support, it takes a major step in addressing gun violence in our communities. I am so pleased this legislation includes a provision to encourage states to create their own red flag laws, giving law enforcement and concerned family members the power to intervene if someone poses a dangerous to others. Another important measure is funding for community-based violence programs. These programs use an approach that addresses people as a whole, considers their socioeconomic needs, and understands their unique community. I support community-based violence prevention programs in Milwaukee and their funding in this bill.
Another initiative I have long fought for is closing the boyfriend loophole. I know firsthand that can happen when an abuser gets their hands on a gun. This legislation would take steps to close the boyfriend loophole, helping protect domestic abuse survivors and their families. This bill also expands background checks for the youngest gun owners, a necessary measure especially after the horrific tragedies in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.
And critically, this bill will improve law enforcement’s ability to crack down on gun traffickers, whose weapons have flooded our streets and taken loved ones.
And finally, the bill’s public health investments, including more funding for initiatives I have championed to help get more social workers and other mental health professionals in our schools, is also welcomed.
I am supporting this bipartisan, bicameral legislation because I know it will help make our communities a safer place to live for all my constituents.”