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June 24, 2022

Pressley Statement on Passage of Safer Communities Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement on the passage of the Safer Communities Act:

“Today, I am holding in my heart the millions of loved ones our communities across the Massachusetts 7th and the nation have lost due to this gun violence epidemic. For decades, survivors and family members have been forced to relive their trauma in pursuit of much-needed policy change, only to be met with inaction.

“That changed today. For the first time in nearly 30 years, Congress took an important step forward in addressing gun violence. I voted for the Safer Communities Act because it will save lives by closing the ‘boyfriend loophole’ to protect survivors of domestic partner violence, strengthening background checks for people under 21, creating a pathway for states to enact crisis intervention orders and investing historic amounts in community-based violence intervention, mental health and trauma supports.

“Make no mistake, one law alone will not end the gun violence epidemic. And the shortcomings of this legislation, including funding that could be used for failed school hardening measures, demand that Congress continue to legislate until every classroom, grocery store, place of worship, and neighborhood is truly safe.

“But we must center the impacted families who have secured a significant, meaningful, and long overdue victory today. I will not stop fighting until we remove weapons of war from our streets and advance healing and justice for all people impacted by gun violence. I will not stop fighting until all students have access to the healing and nurturing environments they deserve to learn and thrive. Our work continues.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Pressley issued a statement on the House’s passage of gun violence prevention legislation, the Protect Our Kids Act and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act.

In a committee hearing, Congresswoman Pressley called for meaningful policy action to combat the uniquely American gun violence epidemic and rejected suggestions by Republican lawmakers that arming teachers and funding more school police is the answer to ending mass shootings. Full video of her exchange with witnesses is available here

Rep. Pressley is the lead sponsor of the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act, bold, bicameral legislation that would help invest in safe and nurturing school climates that support all students and bring an end to the over-policing of our nation’s K-12 schools.