Senator Says U.S. Needs Gun Control Laws to 'Protect Ordinary Citizens'

By Penny Starr | April 15, 2016 | 3:55pm EDT

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) speaks

on Capitol Hill, April 14, 2016. 

( Starr)


( – Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said on Thursday that laws are needed to restrict gun ownership to “protect ordinary citizens,” like those killed in mass shootings.

“Now is the time for the families of Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, and all the cities who are saying that it is time for this scourge to end,” Markey said at a press conference.

The press conference was billed by House and Senate Democrats as an event "to advance sensible, popular legislation to curb the epidemic of gun violence that kills 90 Americans every day.”

“We will win,” Markey said. “We will ultimately change the laws of our country to protect ordinary citizens who are part of this wave of violence.”

Markey, along with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), have more than once promoted a bill to fund research on “gun violence” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Markey said the latest version would give the CDC $10 million a year for six years.

The lawmakers and families of some of the victims from Newtown, Columbine, and Aurora also called for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).”

The PLCAA became law in 2005. It provides protection for gun manufacturers from being held responsible for the “misuse” of their products by individuals, including criminals.

The law states it is “to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others.”

But manufacturers and dealers, under the law, can still be subject to “civil liability,” including for violating state or federal laws and for the sale of defective products.

The law also states it is designed to “preserve a citizen's access to a supply of firearms and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said at the press conference that she has introduced legislation in the House that “would require every gun in this country to be subject to the background check.”

“We’re going to stand up to the NRA; we’re going to stand up to the gun lobby; we’re going to stand up to the gun manufacturers and say, ‘You are not above the law,’” Speier said.

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