FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty joined other lawmakers and the families of victims of gun violence at the White House on Tuesday as President Barack Obama announced new executive measures to control guns.
“I am pleased to see the president taking action and addressing our nation’s crippling gun epidemic. Loopholes exacerbate the difficulty of enforcing current laws and strengthening our longstanding efforts to curb senseless violence and death,” said Esty, whose Congressional District includes Newtown. “We should not let Congress’s irresponsible inaction prevent progress.”
During his speech, Obama wept and wiped tears from his face as he recalled the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School over three years ago, where 20 first-graders and six educators died.
Among the actions Obama is calling for is a requirement that anyone who sells guns – whether it be in stores, online or at gun shows – obtain a license and conduct background checks .
The measures would also strengthen the current background check system, improve enforcement, and advance potentially life-saving technology.
Tuesday’s announcement follows Esty’s attendance at Monday’s meeting with Obama and Attorney General Lynch to discuss possible courses of action to curb gun violence.
Esty, who was elected to Congress just weeks before the deadly Sandy Hook shooting, has been a champion for gun violence prevention. She has been vocal about her support for the president to take executive action on this issue in light of Congress’s failure to act. Esty has repeatedly called on House leaders to allow a vote on critical legislation aimed to reduce the amount of gun violence in the United States.
Esty, vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and committee chair, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson of California sent a letter to the White House signed by 114 House members.
The letter advocated for the federal government to encourage gun manufacturers to research and create smart guns, to regulate the gun sales to ensure they are only sold to reputable and authorized sellers who conduct background checks on all purchases, and encourage manufacturers to work with local law enforcement.
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