WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-09), co-Chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, today issued the following statement following the release of the President’s Plan to Protect our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence:
“As a former city Mayor I know how tough this battle against illegal guns is, but it is a battle that must be won. I applaud Vice President Biden for his work to identify areas where we can work to reduce gun violence in this country. I have supported and fought for similar measures my entire public life as a mayor, as a State legislator and now in Congress. These are commonsense actions that we can be taking right now to strengthen our background check system and enforce our existing gun laws more aggressively. The time to simply talk about keeping our communities safe is over. We need to take meaningful action immediately in order to prevent another senseless large scale act of violence, as well as reduce the daily tragedies that gun violence inflicts on our communities. I urge Congress to implement the Administration’s recommendations as soon as possible.
"For the past three years, as co-Chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, I have led the effort to save the COPS Hiring grant program from elimination. I am very pleased to see the President include increased funding for this program to add more police on our streets as one of his priorities for reducing gun violence. I will be actively working to include this funding during the FY2013 Appropriations process and expect bipartisan support for this effort. Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line daily keeping our communities safe, and I refuse to let them be in a position of being outmanned or outgunned.
"I will also continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep military style assault weapons off our streets and ensure that every gun purchaser undergoes a background check. These steps will undoubtedly save lives and make our communities safer places to live. ”