Our latest response is from Senator Mary Landreiu of Louisiana. If you live in Louisiana, please contact your representatives and Senators and make it clear where you stand on the 2nd Amendment. New responses can be sent our way.
My prayers and greatest sympathy go out to the families and community of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and to all families that have been affected by gun violence. On December 14, 2012, twenty-seven innocent lives were taken from us in a heartbreaking tragedy. As the nation grieves over this senseless act of violence, it is more important than ever that we come together to address the issues affecting American communities.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of all Americans to own and possess guns. While preserving the rights of honest gun collectors, sportsmen and owners who possess firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, we must also continue to ensure that we protect innocent unarmed citizens. I am sure you can agree - like any right guaranteed to a free people, the right to bear arms must be exercised responsibly.
Unfortunately, in the past year, we have seen instances where this right has been abused in tragic fashion. The theater shooting in Aurora, CO, the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, WI, and the school shooting in Newtown, CT, were terrible and unnecessary tragedies. Occurrences such as these remind me of the important role that government plays in upholding statutes that aim to limit such tragedies.
We must do more to target the causes of mental illness and determine the most effective ways to treat it. I support and will continue to strongly advocate for expanded and improved mental health coverage so that the mentally ill can obtain adequate treatment to not only overcome their struggles, but to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.
I also support strict adherence of federally licensed firearms dealers to the requirements laid out in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The NICS determines the eligibility of an individual to purchase a firearm and explicitly prohibits those who have been legally determined to be mentally ill or committed to a mental institution from purchasing any weapons.
Currently, there is no gun control legislation scheduled for a vote. However, I believe that when evaluating future proposals, we must find a balanced way to address the safety of American citizens while ensuring Second Amendment rights granted under the Constitution. Please be assured that I value your input and will keep it in mind as we continue to address this issue in the 113th Congress.
I appreciate hearing from you on this matter, and I trust that you will continue to contact me on matters of mutual concern. Please feel free to visit my website at http://landrieu.senate.gov for more information on my legislative priorities.
With warm regards, I am
United States Senator
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