WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2018, of which he is an original cosponsor, was introduced in the House:

“Congress has a responsibility, under the Constitution, to provide for the safety and general welfare of the American people, and this includes protecting our children from mass murderers.  I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of Rep. Cicilline and Rep. Deutch’s legislation to reinstate the assault weapon ban that Republicans allowed to lapse in 2004.  This would end the legal sale of military-style assault weapons of the kind used in recent school shootings and other mass shootings that have taken thousands of innocent lives.  It has the support of law enforcement and would help prevent the killing of police officers responding to dangerous calls.

“We know that taking these assault weapons off the street makes our communities safer: after the previous ban ended, the number of mass shootings increased 183% and the number of deaths in such attacks rose 239%.  Had the ban not lapsed, it would have been more difficult for the perpetrators of the Orlando, Las Vegas, Southerland Springs, and Parkland mass shootings to have obtained the assault weapons they employed to deadly effect.  Now, Congress has a responsibility to end the sale of these weapons without delay so that we can prevent future loss of life.”