Every day, more than 80 people are killed by guns. Some of these are murders; some are suicides; some are accidents. Each death is a tragedy, and each death stains our national conscience because we as Americans have failed to take the steps necessary to end gun violence.
We must finally require universal background checks before any purchase of a firearm. We must ban military-style assault rifles, which are weapons of mass murder that have no use in sport or self-defense. We must establish national gun registration laws, similar to the law already in place in New Jersey. We must mandate smart trigger locks that ensure that a gun can be fired only by its rightful owner. We must invest in the security necessary to ensure that our schools are sanctuaries from gun violence. We must invest in mental health care to fight the kind of despair that leads a human being to use a gun to end a life.
We must, most of all, fight the lies and the venomous political tactics of the gun lobby, which has for many years stood with gun manufacturers rather than with law-abiding gun owners and ordinary citizens.
As New Jerseyans, we are already protected by relatively strong gun laws at the state level – but our safety is undermined by lax gun laws in the rest of the nation. As a United States senator, I will seek to bring New Jersey’s high standards for gun safety to the rest of the nation.