Monday, January 21, 2013

Tom Udall United States Senator from New Mexico Responds

We had previously covered the response from Senator Tom Udall's cousin Senator Mark Udall from New Mexico. Now we have his response in regard to his seat in Congress for the state of New Mexico. 


Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

The incomprehensible act of violence carried out at Sandy Hook Elementary School has left our nation with a profound sense of sorrow and questions about why these tragedies are occurring with increasing frequency.  For answers, we must start by assessing our gun laws, how we treat mental illness in this country and the cultural desensitization towards violence. Meaningful action is clearly needed to protect our communities and to move forward. I believe that every idea should be on the table and will carefully consider any reasonable legislation that is crafted to help prevent future tragedies.

As Congress begins to consider related legislation, it is important to recognize that these debates often evoke strong responses because we are attempting to reconcile an individual's constitutional rights with society's interest in maintaining public safety and combating crime.  The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution secures the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. I also believe that the Constitution gives us the right to own firearms for the protection of self, family, and property, and for sporting purposes such as hunting and target shooting. For generations, many New Mexicans have exercised this right in a responsible way, and they should be able to continue to do so. However,  I also recognize that our communities have an obligation to protect citizens from senseless gun violence.

As a former federal prosecutor and Attorney General of New Mexico, my first-hand experiences with the numerous crimes committed with firearms led me to believe that these crimes are among the most heinous, and should be prosecuted as forcefully as possible. During my time in Congress, I have  introduced legislation to appoint an additional Assistant U.S. Attorney for each jurisdiction to be focused solely on prosecuting gun crimes.

President Obama has announced a White House task force led by Vice President Biden that will make recommendations on gun related violence. I look forward to seeing these proposals. I am hopeful that working together we will achieve sensible solutions. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as Congress looks for ways to address this issue and prevent this type of violence.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me.  Please feel free to contact me with your concerns regarding any federal issue by visiting my website at Tomudall.Senate.Gov.  For more information, you may also visit my Facebook page at and receive up to the minute updates through my Twitter page at Twitter: @SenatorTomUdall.

Very truly yours,

Tom Udall
United States Senator

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