MJ Hegar (TX-Sen), "An Open Letter to John Cornyn"

Published by The Texas Tribune

Dear Sen. Cornyn:

As I was driving through West Texas talking to local folks recently, I heard the news of the mass shooting nearby in Midland and Odessa. My heart dropped as I pulled out my phone to get more information and saw gut-wrenching video of parents huddling in a field covering their children, who were screaming and crying, telling them that it would be all right while semi-automatic gunfire echoed in the background.

I flashed back to my time in Afghanistan as the sounds of war rang in my ears. This isn’t the first time something reminded me so viscerally of my three tours in combat. But something different happened to me when I heard the terrified cries of children layered over the gunfire. Now I was experiencing war not just as a soldier, but as a mother, and this wasn’t a war zone on foreign soil, but in the streets of west Texas.

From Sutherland Springs to Santa Fe to El Paso, the sounds of war have rung out in Texas churches, high schools and stores. Enough is enough. If we’re to be the land of the free, then the brave among us must act to give our people the freedom to go to movies, shop in stores and walk through parks without having to be vigilant for threats.

That starts with getting weapons of war off of our streets and calling on governors and state legislators to ban the open carry of weapons. The reality is this: The reasons gun owners like me have for wanting to protect our Second Amendment rights — chief among them protecting our families — are not served by open carry. In recent days, we have seen companies like Walmart and Kroger take the lead and ask patrons to not openly carry weapons in their stores, but we can’t depend on that. Open carry itself is an assault on every bystander within range, as we feel the need to flee and cover our children without the freedom to call law enforcement for help. We must empower people to “see something, say something.”

We must pass sweeping common-sense gun safety legislation that is dying in U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard, which would require background checks on every single gun sale — a proposal that a recent survey by The Washington Post-ABC News found was supported by 88% of gun owners and would close the loophole that may have allowed the Odessa shooter to acquire his weapon.

We need to stop the sale of assault weapons to the public, pass anti-trafficking regulations and red flag laws, give the Center for Disease Control the money needed to research gun violence prevention and increase straw purchase sentencing.

We know the gun violence epidemic in this country reaches far beyond the tragic mass shootings that we seem to be accepting as commonplace. Domestic violence, accidental shootings, children getting their hands on irresponsibly stored weapons and suicides are robbing us of our mothers, brothers, babies and our soul as a country.

John Cornyn, you have a choice before you. If you want to keep your job as a United States Senator working for the people of Texas, you need to quit working for the NRA and Mitch McConnell. As a mother, a Texan and a responsible gun owner, I sincerely hope you put politics aside and take the needed actions to protect our communities. We are Texas, and we’re in this together.
— MJ Hegar
Source: https://www.tribtalk.org/2019/09/09/an-ope...

Janie Zimmerman (VA H60) Issue Statement

Janie believes that guns are a safety issue the way they are handled now. She believes in universal background checks with a database the connects across all states. Automatic weapons and large magazines should be outlawed. Open carry laws should not allow people to carry a gun anywhere they choose, there should be more restrictions, just as an officer can’t bring a gun into a prison, civilians should not be able to bring guns into a school, a church, or other highly populated areas.
— https://www.janiezva60.org/the-issues

Flo Ketner (VA Sen-19) Issue Statement

We need to focus on the safety of our communities while also ensuring the safety of our farms protecting their livestock. We need to ensure our hunters are safe to catch the wildlife that feeds their families but also prevent children from life threatening instances. Safety is the number one concern. We need to ensure our schools, government buildings, and churches are safe for everyone. Forcing our teachers to acquire permits to carry a weapon while teaching our youth is not a safety measure. Government buildings are protected by security and forcing someone sitting at a reception desk to have a weapon is not a safety measure. Ensuring our families with weapons in their homes are keeping their guns safe utilizing approved gun locks and a secure gun safe is a safety measure.

Our police officers and our loving family members deserve the right to petition the courts about their concerns a permitted gun owner is not in a safe mental state and should be suspended until they feel they are back to good health. This is not simply for the safety of the public but the safety for our community and family members. Suicide is all too common and we should be taking measures to give our family and community members the support they need.
— https://www.floketner.com/

Perry Gershon (NY-01), "The deadly combination of racist rhetoric and guns"

In little more than a week, we’ve seen mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Brooklyn, New York and Gilroy, California. No American community is immune to gun violence. Too many killed, too many injured, too many families ripped apart.

Even worse, the rising tide of gun violence is directly linked to the rising tide of racism and hate crimes in this country; the rhetoric from the National Rifle Association and certain high level elected officials is not helpful.

Let’s be clear: These tragedies are preventable. We don’t have to live like this. Our leaders, including Congressman Lee Zeldin, have a responsibility to act—a responsibility he has failed.

Rep. Zeldin is a puppet of the NRA, an organization that has severely radicalized in recent years. He has accepted more financial assistance from the gun lobby than almost every other member of the House of Representatives. Whether it be from direct or indirect contributions, he is in their pocket—like none other in New York.

As your Congressman, I’ll never take a dime from the NRA. Here’s my plan for reducing gun violence:

Mandatory background checks. We must create a rigorous national standard for background checks and close loopholes. The recently passed House resolution is a good start, no thanks to Zeldin. But the Senate and President must act as well.

Protecting the New York SAFE Act. I fiercely oppose Lee’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows out of state residents to carry concealed weapons in New York, immune from New York’s gun safety laws. This puts lives at risk. Just ask law enforcement what they think.

Limiting assault-style weapons. We must restore the provisions of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a bill that had substantial support from House Republicans at the time.

Banning bump stocks. Congress must permanetly ban bump stock devices that effectively convert semi-automatic assault weapons into automatic weapons.

No guns in schools. Not for teachers. Not for students.
And you know what else? I’ll always speak up against the racist rhetoric that fuels the hate. We stand up and speak with one voice to say that hate and racism are not acceptable in this country.

On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., the majority voice of NY-1 will make their position known at a rally outside Rep. Zeldin’s office in Patchogue (31 Oak Street). I will be participating as an invited speaker. Let’s make sure he hears us loud and clear.

Jennie Lou Leeder (TX-21) Issue Statement

We need commonsense gun law reform in our country. This includes closing the gun show and internet purchase loopholes, changing the legal age to 21 to purchase long guns, and making automatic weapons and bump stocks illegal. I would support the reinstatement of the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban. As a former teacher, I strongly oppose the president’s proposal to arm teachers. Our educators have a job to do, and that job does not include serving as an armed patrol. I do believe that we need community service officers on school campuses to increase campus safety and act as liaisons with vital service providers in the community.
— https://www.jennielouleeder.com/the-issues

Tedra Cobb (NY-21) Issue Statement

Tedra Cobb is committed to maintaining an individual’s access to firearms for safe hunting and personal protection, while working to minimize gun violence, an escalating public health crisis. She calls on Congress to reject partisanship and address the issue with reason, integrity and cooperation.

By working together, we can ensure public health and safety while maintaining the freedoms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Congress has a moral and legal obligation to institute gun-related policies that protect the people.

We must reject partisanship and approach discussions about gun rights and public safety with sensitivity, objectivity and pragmatism.

Fully fund and allow the Centers for Disease Control to research causes of and solutions to gun violence.

Implement effective universal background checks for all gun sales, whether at gun shows, via the internet or at retailers.

Ban bump stocks and all other modifications that make a firearm fully automatic.

Expand protections under domestic violence statutes for domestic partners and victims of stalking.

Prohibit people who have committed hate crimes and/or who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.

Increase mental health service screenings to make sure questions are asked to determine whether those at risk of self-harm or harming others have access to firearms.

Revoke conceal-and-carry reciprocity that allows persons with permits from states with looser laws from carrying a firearm in states with stronger laws, like New York.

Increase funding and support for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

RELATED POLICY POSITIONS

Repeal the Tiahart Amendment, which requires that ATF gun traces be performed on paper, effectively making them useless in prevention of trafficking, and prohibits the ATF from requiring gun dealers to perform regular inventory checks.

Support campaign finance reforms that prevent organizations from bribing their representatives with campaign dollars.

Reject the idea of arming teachers in public schools.

Require gun safety courses and exams before issuing a license to purchase any gun.
— https://www.tedracobb.com/issues/addressing-gun-violence/

Cathy Albro (MI-03) Issue Statement

When I was a young girl, two accidental shootings shook my family. My cousin shot his brother, my uncle shot his cousin. Both died. Back then we didn’t talk about it a lot. But it really tore the family apart.

Since then senseless gun violence has continued. The recent Parkland, Florida shooting is part of a long line of tragedy. Enough is enough. We have a gun problem.

Since Sandy Hook, 430 children have been killed in schools. I wonder how those parents feel knowing their children might still be alive today if Congress had the courage to act. We cannot sit back and let the NRA make decisions for us. Students are leading the movement against gun violence and it’s time for us to support and listen. I vow to fight for the safety of our children and all of us who are potential victims of senseless gun violence.

The United States is the only developed country on earth where citizens have easy access to high powered weapons. State-by-state patchwork approaches to confront this serious public safety issue are not good enough. Many killers pass current background checks in their states or fall through the cracks completely.

We must demand reasonable gun restrictions. Restrictions on freedoms granted by the Constitution have been implemented throughout our history for the safety of society. I respect the Constitutional right to have a weapon. We must also meet our Constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense and general welfare of our people. In Congress, I promise to stand up to the NRA and pass commonsense gun laws. I will work to find compassionate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand with me. In Congress I will defend your rights: your rights to the 2nd Amendment AND your rights for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Weapons designed for military use should only be in the hands of those well qualified to use them.

We must study gun violence. And the dialogue cannot end there.

We need to invest in our teachers, support staff, and specialized services. They truly hold an important key to the life-long mental health of all in the U.S. Our children need support in finding constructive outlets for their anger. They need educators trained in de-escalation. Educators should not carry guns in their classrooms.
— https://cathyalbroforcongress.com/the-issues/