Today, Senator Reverend Warnock joined Lives Robbed, the Uvalde families’ nonprofit, for a “Back-to-School: Roll Call”, an event commemorating the 171 lives taken by gun violence in schools since the 1999 Columbine shooting
The remarks come days after Senator Reverend Warnock joined Senator Warren and Leader Schumer in urging the Biden Administration to take aggressive action to curb gun violence
ICYMI: Congressional Democrats press Biden to use ‘every possible tool’ to combat gun violence
Senator Reverend Warnock meets with Robb Elementary victims’ families
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Warnock (D-GA) joined Lives Robbed, the Uvalde families’ nonprofit, for a “Back-to-School: Roll Call”, an event commemorating the 171 lives taken by gun violence in schools since the 1999 Columbine shooting The remarks follow Senator Warnock’s latest effort to curb gun violence when earlier this week he joined Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and 74 lawmakers in urging the Biden Administration to take aggressive action to combat gun violence and limit the sale of assault weapons.
“If the democracy is the highest expression of our values and our collective will as an American people, what does it say about us that we’re saying to our children, when a gunman shows up, the best we can do is to teach you how to hide,” said Senator Warnock at today’s event. “…And so I’m here to say this morning that in a real sense, we’re the ones who are hiding, hiding behind our fear, hiding behind distorted ideas around power and might and safety. Some say that this is the price we have to pay for freedom. I say no, this is the price we pay for obstinance, for cynicism. So thank you [to the Uvalde families] for standing up in this moment. Your voice means everything. These families could have shrunken and cowered in some corner, and no one would have blamed them… But they’re translating their pain into power and telling the whole nation to stand up.”
Senator Warnock ended his remarks with a commitment to the families of Uvalde, Parkland, and Sandy Hook victims present at the event that he would keep working until all children are safe in their classrooms. The Senator backed up this commitment with his efforts this week to push the Biden administration to take more aggressive action on this front. In that letter, lawmakers laid out a list of policy proposals the Biden Administration could undertake as part of its push to address gun violence through executive action using its existing authority. The proposed policies include:
- Instructing DoD and other federal agencies that purchase firearms to implement standards for procuring taxpayer-funded firearms only from manufacturers that agree to adopt a code of conduct. The code of conduct could include declining to sell military-grade weapons to civilians and only selling to responsible dealers who refuse to proceed with a sale without a completed background check.
- Reevaluating the list of guns eligible for import under the “sporting purposes” exception, which could significantly reduce the import of dangerous assault weapons.
- Transferring authority over assault rifle exports back to the State Department from the Commerce Department, reversing the Trump Administration’s shift of authority to Commerce, which allowed a surge in exports of these deadly weapons.
- Encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to issue a policy statement on “unfair or deceptive” gun ads that falsely assert that firearm ownership increases household residents’ physical safety from gun violence.
- Directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review its interpretation of the Tiahrt Amendment in order to expand the types of firearm trace data that can be released to the public, including to researchers, litigants, and journalists.
The full letter can be found here. These executive actions to prevent gun violence are endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence.
The Senator has been focused on gun violence prevention since coming to the Senate. Following a mass shooting that killed one and injured four at Northside Hospital Medical Midtown in Atlanta in May, Senator Warnock delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor that day calling on Congress to take immediate action to curb gun violence. Also in May, Senator Warnock hosted a press conference that uplifted the stories of gun violence survivors and pushed Congress to start a serious conversation about addressing the gun violence crisis. The Senator championed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act but insisted it is not enough and Congress has more work to do.