WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, which passed the House today:

“Today, I stood with thousands of students from the Washington area who walked out and marched for safer schools and action to prevent gun violence. I was inspired by their passion, their dedication, and their conviction that their voices will lead to real change.

“I also joined many of my colleagues in voting for the STOP Act today, a bipartisan bill that provides greater resources for schools to protect students. However, this bill, on its own, is not the kind of meaningful Congressional action needed to address this crisis of gun violence plaguing our nation. This must be a first step, and it must be followed by a serious effort to pass legislation that expands background checks and bans military-style assault weapons.

“The students of America are marching because they want learning, not lockdowns; they want teachers armed with supplies and enthusiasm, not dangerous guns; and they want Congress to affirm that their lives are more important than blind adherence to the NRA. I hope Republicans will finally be willing to work with us, now that the STOP Act has passed, to take meaningful action that gives these students and their families reason to breathe easier every day, free from fear.”