Democratic senators form caucus for gun violence prevention

·2 min read

A group of eight Democratic senators formed the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus on Thursday, with the goal of promoting “commonsense solutions” to America’s abnormally high levels of gun violence.

“We wake every day to headlines of another mass shooting in this country,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the newly formed caucus, said in a statement. “We can’t allow this to continue.”

The creation of the caucus comes in the wake of several recent mass shootings in California. Eleven people were fatally shot and nine more were injured at a dance studio in Monterey Park on Jan. 21.

Just two days later, seven people were killed and one was injured in related shootings at two farms in Half Moon Bay. In total, there have been 54 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

“The gun violence epidemic is a uniquely American problem,” Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), another new member of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, said in a statement. “But it’s within our reach to end it.”

Feinstein noted that her fellow members of the caucus — which also include Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) — have long been leaders on the gun violence issue.

The caucus members said in a press release that they plan to examine gun violence prevention laws at the state level for potential inspiration, look at best practices for advocacy and ways to engage local communities in the effort, and search for opportunities to work with the executive branch.

They also noted plans to work on developing gun safety legislation that will “preserve constitutional rights and will avoid frivolous lawsuits.”

Recent efforts to implement various gun safety laws have faced pushback in the courts, particularly following the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen last June.

The ruling overturned a New York state concealed carry law, finding that gun restrictions must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition.

An appeals court panel on Thursday struck down a federal law that banned individuals with domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns, citing the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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