Five Injured by Gunman Armed with Handgun and Military-Style Assault Weapon
Hearing to Debate Gun Lobby–Backed Bill to Deregulate Silencers Postponed
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Today, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence condemned the heinous attack on Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his staffer, a lobbyist, and members of the congressional security detail. Reports indicate the shooter was armed with a military-style assault weapon and a handgun, and was neutralized by law enforcement after exchanging gunfire for 10 minutes.
“Incidents like this morning’s shooting in Alexandria are far too common and call to mind so many other horrific gun tragedies our country has endured in recent years,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The shooter was armed with a handgun and a military-style rifle, far too easily acquired by a man with a violent history, radical notions, and deadly intentions. We’re grateful to the law enforcement officers and first responders who bravely protected those present at the shooting and saved lives. In spite of events like this occurring with stunning regularity—this was the 153rd mass shooting of 2017—the gun lobby continues to push for the total dismantling of our gun laws, including its attempt to deregulate silencers, legislation that was scheduled to be debated in Congress today. It’s terrifying to imagine how much more difficult it would be for police to respond to a mass shooting when a gunman has a silencer. Our leaders in Congress need to take action to make this country safer and fight back against the gun lobby’s deadly agenda.”
RESOURCES FROM THE LAW CENTER:
- Today’s shooting took place in Virginia, a state with relatively weak gun laws—it receives a D on the Law Center’s annual Gun Law State Scorecard.
- Virginia does not require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private or unlicensed parties, and doesn’t require a permit to purchase a weapon.
- Virginia requires a permit for individuals to carry a concealed weapon and in 2016 enacted a dangerous law that grants recognition to concealed carry permits issued by any other state.
- The shooter was staying in the Washington DC area temporarily, but lived in Belleville, Illinois, a state with relatively strong gun laws.
- Illinois receives a B+ on the Gun Law State Scorecard, for smart gun laws like waiting periods and background checks, but the state does not regulate military-style assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines.
- Illinois is a “shall issue” state, meaning that concealed weapons permits must be issued if the applicant meets certain criteria.
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