Scott Peters: Assault Weapons Should be Banned

February 22, 2018

Rep. Peters explained his stance on issues related to gun violence in an op-ed for The San Diego Union Tribune.

An excerpt from the February 22 piece is posted below:

Gun violence: We asked San Diego County’s congressional members their positions

A view of Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

By Abby Hamlin

February 22, 2018

Three of the 10 worst mass shootings in modern American history have happened in the past three months with the shots of the most recent — a shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school that left 17 adults and children dead on Wednesday — still ringing in our ears as the debate over guns and gun legislation intensifies.

Amid growing student activism and signals of support by President Donald Trump for banning bump stocks and toughening federal background checks for gun purchases, a nation has turned its attention to Congress. Why? It’s congressional action — or inaction — that always draws American attention after these shootings.

To get a better sense of where our congressional representatives stand on issues related to gun violence, we sent the five members of San Diego County’s congressional delegation and California’s two senators the same set of questions on Tuesday morning.

•What should your constituents know about your views on the Second Amendment?Have you sponsored any legislation in response to mass shootings?Do you want to highlight any relevant votes or legislative action you’ve taken?Have you taken any positions that your constituents should know about?What needs to change going forward? What are your priorities on this issue?Any other thoughts to share on the subject?

Here are the replies we’ve received so far. We’ll update this page with more answers as we get them.

REP. SCOTT PETERS, D-SAN DIEGO

Rep. (D) Scott Peters discussed the status of the race for the 52nd Congressional district race at his campaign headquarters. Sean M. Haffey/San Diego Union-Tribune

What should your constituents know about your views on the Second Amendment?

“I support the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners to own guns for sporting, collection, or self-protection. There is, however, no reason for civilians to possess the weapons of war that have been used to slaughter concertgoers, moviegoers and children at their schools; law enforcement organizations, such as the International Association of Police Chiefs, agree that assault weapons should be banned.”

Have you sponsored any legislation in response to mass shootings?

“Since first coming to Congress in 2013, just weeks after the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I have cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in our communities. These bills include critical reforms to our background check processes, bans on the sale of high capacity magazines, and bans on the sale of assault-style weapons. Bills to protect Americans from gun violence that I have supported are here:”

H.R. 4240 – The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

H.R. 4052 – Keep Americans Safe Act

H.R. 3947 – The Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act

H.R. 2670 – The Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act

H.R. 3051 – The Background Check Completion Act

H.R.1217 – The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

H.R.1076 – Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act

H.R.752 – The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

H.R.1565 – The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013

H.R.452 – The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act

H.R.437 – The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

H.R. 93 – The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act

Do you want to highlight any relevant votes or legislative action you’ve taken?

“This session, Congress has taken two gun-related votes: one that repealed a rule instituted by the Obama Administration that required the Social Security Administration to share with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System when individuals have been determined to lack the mental capacity to manage their own finances, and another that would require states to honor another state’s concealed carry permit. I strongly opposed both those because they move us in precisely the wrong direction.”

Have you taken any positions that your constituents should know about?

“As a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I have been a consistent, vocal advocate for Congressional action to address gun violence. In the wake of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas and now Parkland, Congressional action is long, long overdue. I have focused on pushing legislation to establish universal background checks because it has broad bipartisan support and, thus, the best chance of passage in the House. I played a key role in the Democratic anti-gun violence sit-in in 2016, by broadcasting this protest of Republican opposition to gun safety laws on the House floor through Periscope. When Republican leaders still refused to act, I began reading the names of the victims of gun violence on the House floor, to highlight the human cost of their persistent inaction.”

What needs to change going forward? What are your priorities on this issue?

“After each of these tragedies, Congressional Republicans hold a moment of silence in honor of those whose lives were senselessly cut short, and then send “thoughts and prayers,” and then do nothing to make it better. That needs to change. I am ready to make our background check system work better, and I’m ready to ban bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and weapons of war that have no place in our schools or in our communities. My priority now is to raise the volume on this issue — to make it so that Congressional Republicans can’t just move on — and to help all of those who have been calling for action from Congress to have their voices heard.”

Any other thoughts to share on the subject?

“The only way for Congress to act is for the Republican Speaker of the House to allow us to vote on any number of the bipartisan bills that are out there. Everyone who cares about protecting our children from future senseless tragedies should raise their voices and demand that the Republicans let Congress do its job and protect the people they were elected to serve.”

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