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Preventing Gun Violence

Sandy Hook. Orlando. San Bernardino. Las Vegas. The list of gun violence tragedies in America keeps growing but there is still no action out of Washington. It is easy to forget that partisan gridlock is not the norm on this issue. Republicans and Democrats once had a history of coming together to address gun violence, resulting in common sense solutions like restrictions on automatic weapons and efforts to require background checks on new gun purchases. In 1994, Republican ex-Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan actually endorsed the assault weapons ban which ultimately passed as a 10-year measure.

Unfortunately, partisan politics and an increasingly powerful gun lobby have taken us backwards – the assault weapons restrictions have expired and background check loopholes remain. To make progress on gun violence, we need to set aside politics and bring Republicans and Democrats together to find common ground again and common sense.

When it comes to gun violence prevention, I have a few basic priorities. Background checks should be required at a national level before guns may be purchased – and we must close the loopholes in the current system. Certain guns such as assault weapons should be registered, just as cars are today. Assault weapons should not be freely available, and I support a renewal of the provisions of the old 1994 law, as well as a ban on “bump stocks.” And most of all, we should not impose “concealed carry” laws on our states. Representative Zeldin frequently advocates for a new federal gun law allowing a person to carry a legal concealed weapon into a state where it is otherwise illegal. So if a Texan visits New York, he or she would be immune to New York’s more restrictive gun laws and bound only by Texas law. We cannot let this happen.

I'm a businessman, not a career politician, so I look at things differently.
Government cannot fix our problems, but I believe we can work together to provide opportunity and create an economy that works for all of us.

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Perry Gershon

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