March 07, 2018

Cortez Masto, Senate Democrats, Survivors, Family Members Hold Hearing on Protecting Children from Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) participated in a hearing with Senate Democrats titled “America Speaks Out: Protecting Our Children from Gun Violence.” The Senators heard testimony from survivors of gun violence and family members who want Congress to take swift action to strengthen our nation’s gun laws. 

“Across our country, communities are being impacted by senseless gun violence,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Today, I heard heartbreaking stories of mothers losing sons, students losing friends, and the life-long struggles, and physical and mental scars that these awful acts of terror have created. Congress must act to ensure that tragedies like the ones that came to Sutherland Springs, Parkland and my hometown of Las Vegas end. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring legislation that bans bumpstocks, reduces the number of rounds in high capacity magazines, fixes the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, expands universal background checks with limited exemptions and enables the Center for Disease Control to study the epidemic of gun deaths in America. Congress can and must do more to prevent senseless mass shootings and save lives.”

“I am here to testify before Congress because Ben, my six year old, can't,” said Francine Wheeler, mother of Ben Wheeler, age 6, who was killed in the 2013 Sandy Hook Shooting. “It is my job as a mother to keep my children safe. It is my responsibility as a citizen to demand the help of our elected public officials.” 

“I have dedicated the rest of my life to fighting for the cause of gun safety,” said Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, age 14, who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “I will not stop. No other parent should ever go through what my family and 16 other families are going through.” 

Witness testimony and video of the hearing may be found here. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) also attended the hearing.