For Immediate Release

March 17, 2017

Contact:

John Kelley

917-679-6475

jkelley@newtownaction.org

NEWTOWN ACTION ALLIANCE STRONGLY CONDEMNS HOUSE VOTE ON H.R. 1181 TO PUT GUNS IN THE HANDS OF VETERANS WITH SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS WHO ARE AT RISK FOR GUN SUICIDES

H.R. 1181 WEAKENS THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM

Newtown, CT– Newtown Action Alliance strongly condemns the House of Representatives’ passage of H. R. 1181, the so-called “the Veteran 2nd Amendment Protection Act” which “prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs, any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others”.

Statement from Po Murray, Chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance:

The 240 Congressional House members who approved H.R. 1181 yesterday voted to make America less safe. In February, the Republican majority in the House rushed to weaken the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by preventing the Social Security Administration (SSA) from providing a list of 75,000 SSA beneficiaries with severe mental illness to NICS.Then yesterday, the Republicans rushed a vote to wipe out 174,000 veterans and military service members who have been deemed “mentally incompetent” by the Veterans Administration (VA) Secretary from our background check system.

According to the Analysis of VA Health Care Utilization among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans, there are 2.7 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and over 640,000 of these veterans suffer from PTSD, depression, traumatic brain injury and other mental disorders. In 2014, an average of 20 Veterans died from suicide each day with approximately 66% of all Veteran deaths from suicide resulting from firearm injuries, according to the VA Suicide Prevention Program Facts about Veteran Suicide July 2016. H.R. 1181 will make it easier for our veterans in crisis to acquire firearms to add to the tragedy of veteran suicides in our nation.

These recent congressional actions to weaken the federal gun laws and the lack of congressional action on gun violence prevention after the Sandy Hook tragedy are a national disgrace. The House vote on H.R. 1181 is another gift to the National Rifle Association (NRA) to bolster gun industry profits. It is another brutal slap in the face for all the families of victims and communities directly impacted by gun violence in our nation. We continue to be outraged that the members of Congress with a responsibility to keep all Americans safe would vote to appease the gun lobby instead. These members of Congress are morally bankrupt. In Sandy Hook, we know first hand that weapons in the hands of a person with severe mental illness can devastate families and an entire community. After the Sandy Hook tragedy, we brought hundreds of heartbroken families directly impacted by gun violence to Washington D.C. to implore Congress to take action on gun violence. Despite four years of begging, the House of Representatives did not vote on a single gun violence prevention bill. These congressional representatives ignored the pleas from those who are living without their loved ones and sat idly by while over 400,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns since the Sandy Hook shooting.

We will not stand idly by while Congress makes our nation less safe. We will continue to strongly condemn any and all congressional actions that will promote the gun lobby’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda and we will continue to name every member of Congress who votes with the gun lobby. We implore all Americans to join us in condemning the following 240 House Representatives who are willing to sell out 30,000 American lives a year for NRA’s high ratings.

AZ 9 Rep. Kyrsten Sinema [D]

CA 46 Rep. Luis Correa [D]

GA 2 Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. [D]

HI 2 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard [D]

MN 1 Rep. Timothy Walz [D]

MN 7 Rep. Collin Peterson [D]

OR 5 Rep. Kurt Schrader [D]

TX 15 Rep. Vicente Gonzalez [D]

TX 28 Rep. Henry Cuellar [D]

TX 29 Rep. Gene Green [D]

TX 34 Rep. Filemon Vela [D]

WI 3 Rep. Ron Kind [D]

AK 0 Rep. Don Young [R]

AL 1 Rep. Bradley Byrne [R]

AL 2 Rep. Martha Roby [R]

AL 3 Rep. Mike Rogers [R]

AL 4 Rep. Robert Aderholt [R]

AL 5 Rep. Mo Brooks [R]

AR 1 Rep. Eric Rick Crawford [R]

AR 2 Rep. French Hill [R]

AR 3 Rep. Steve Womack [R]

AR 4 Rep. Bruce Westerman [R]

AZ 2 Rep. Martha McSally [R]

AZ 4 Rep. Paul Gosar [R]

AZ 5 Rep. Andy Biggs [R]

AZ 6 Rep. David Schweikert [R]

AZ 8 Rep. Trent Franks [R]

CA 1 Rep. Doug LaMalfa [R]

CA 4 Rep. Tom McClintock [R]

CA 8 Rep. Paul Cook [R]

CA 10 Rep. Jeff Denham [R]

CA 21 Rep. David Valadao [R]

CA 22 Rep. Devin Nunes [R]

CA 23 Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R]

CA 25 Rep. Steve Knight [R]

CA 39 Rep. Edward Ed Royce [R]

CA 42 Rep. Ken Calvert [R]

CA 45 Rep. Mimi Walters [R]

CA 48 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R]

CA 49 Rep. Darrell Issa [R]

CA 50 Rep. Duncan Hunter [R]

CO 3 Rep. Scott Tipton [R]

CO 4 Rep. Ken Buck [R]

CO 5 Rep. Doug Lamborn [R]

CO 6 Rep. Mike Coffman [R]

FL 1 Rep. Matt Gaetz [R]

FL 2 Rep. Neal Dunn [R]

FL 3 Rep. Ted Yoho [R]

FL 4 Rep. John Rutherford [R]

FL 6 Rep. Ron DeSantis [R]

FL 8 Rep. Bill Posey [R]

FL 11 Rep. Daniel Webster [R]

FL 12 Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R]

FL 15 Rep. Dennis Ross [R]

FL 16 Rep. Vern Buchanan [R]

FL 17 Rep. Thomas Rooney [R]

FL 18 Rep. Brian Mast [R]

FL 19 Rep. Francis Rooney [R]

FL 25 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R]

FL 26 Rep. Carlos Curbelo [R]

FL 27 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R]

GA 1 Rep. Buddy Carter [R]

GA 3 Rep. Drew Ferguson IV [R]

GA 7 Rep. Rob Woodall [R]

GA 8 Rep. Austin Scott [R]

GA 9 Rep. Doug Collins [R]

GA 10 Rep. Jody Hice [R]

GA 11 Rep. Barry Loudermilk [R]

GA 12 Rep. Rick Allen [R]

GA 14 Rep. Tom Graves [R]

IA 1 Rep. Rod Blum [R]

IA 3 Rep. David Young [R]

IA 4 Rep. Steve King [R]

ID 1 Rep. RaÌ Labrador [R]

ID 2 Rep. Michael Mike Simpson [R]

IL 6 Rep. Peter Roskam [R]

IL 12 Rep. Mike Bost [R]

IL 13 Rep. Rodney Davis [R]

IL 14 Rep. Randy Hultgren [R]

IL 15 Rep. John Shimkus [R]

IL 16 Rep. Adam Kinzinger [R]

IL 18 Rep. Darin LaHood [R]

IN 2 Rep. Jackie Walorski [R]

IN 3 Rep. Jim Banks [R]

IN 4 Rep. Todd Rokita [R]

IN 5 Rep. Susan Brooks [R]

IN 6 Rep. Luke Messer [R]

IN 8 Rep. Larry Bucshon [R]

IN 9 Rep. Trey Hollingsworth [R]

KS 1 Rep. Roger Marshall [R]

KS 2 Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R]

KS 3 Rep. Kevin Yoder [R]

KY 1 Rep. James Comer [R]

KY 2 Rep. Brett Guthrie [R]

KY 4 Rep. Thomas Massie [R]

KY 5 Rep. Harold Hal Rogers [R]

KY 6 Rep. Garland Andy Barr [R]

LA 1 Rep. Steve Scalise [R]

LA 3 Rep. Clay Higgins [R]

LA 4 Rep. Mike Johnson [R]

LA 5 Rep. Ralph Abraham [R]

LA 6 Rep. Garret Graves [R]

MD 1 Rep. Andy Harris [R]

ME 2 Rep. Bruce Poliquin [R]

MI 1 Rep. Jack Bergman [R]

MI 2 Rep. Bill Huizenga [R]

MI 3 Rep. Justin Amash [R]

MI 4 Rep. John Moolenaar [R]

MI 6 Rep. Fred Upton [R]

MI 7 Rep. Tim Walberg [R]

MI 8 Rep. Mike Bishop [R]

MI 10 Rep. Paul Mitchell [R]

MI 11 Rep. Dave Trott [R]

MN 2 Rep. Jason Lewis [R]

MN 3 Rep. Erik Paulsen [R]

MN 6 Rep. Tom Emmer [R]

MO 2 Rep. Ann Wagner [R]

MO 3 Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R]

MO 4 Rep. Vicky Hartzler [R]

MO 6 Rep. Sam Graves [R]

MO 7 Rep. Billy Long [R]

MO 8 Rep. Jason Smith [R]

MS 1 Rep. Trent Kelly [R]

MS 3 Rep. Gregg Harper [R]

MS 4 Rep. Steven Palazzo [R]

NC 2 Rep. George Holding [R]

NC 3 Rep. Walter Jones Jr. [R]

NC 5 Rep. Virginia Foxx [R]

NC 6 Rep. Mark Walker [R]

NC 7 Rep. David Rouzer [R]

NC 8 Rep. Richard Hudson [R]

NC 9 Rep. Robert Pittenger [R]

NC 10 Rep. Patrick McHenry [R]

NC 11 Rep. Mark Meadows [R]

NC 13 Rep. Ted Budd [R]

ND 0 Rep. Kevin Cramer [R]

NE 1 Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R]

NE 2 Rep. Don Bacon [R]

NE 3 Rep. Adrian Smith [R]

NJ 2 Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R]

NJ 3 Rep. Tom MacArthur [R]

NJ 4 Rep. Christopher Chris Smith [R]

NJ 11 Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R]

NM 2 Rep. Stevan Steve Pearce [R]

NV 2 Rep. Mark Amodei [R]

NY 1 Rep. Lee Zeldin [R]

NY 19 Rep. John Faso [R]

NY 21 Rep. Elise Stefanik [R]

NY 22 Rep. Claudia Tenney [R]

NY 23 Rep. Tom Reed II [R]

NY 24 Rep. John Katko [R]

OH 1 Rep. Steve Chabot [R]

OH 2 Rep. Brad Wenstrup [R]

OH 5 Rep. Robert Latta [R]

OH 6 Rep. Bill Johnson [R]

OH 7 Rep. Bob Gibbs [R]

OH 8 Rep. Warren Davidson [R]

OH 10 Rep. Michael Turner [R]

OH 12 Rep. Patrick Pat Tiberi [R]

OH 14 Rep. David Joyce [R]

OH 15 Rep. Steve Stivers [R]

OH 16 Rep. James Renacci [R]

OK 1 Rep. Jim Bridenstine [R]

OK 2 Rep. Markwayne Mullin [R]

OK 3 Rep. Frank Lucas [R]

OK 4 Rep. Tom Cole [R]

OK 5 Rep. Steve Russell [R]

OR 2 Rep. Greg Walden [R]

PA 4 Rep. Scott Perry [R]

PA 5 Rep. Glenn Thompson [R]

PA 6 Rep. Ryan Costello [R]

PA 7 Rep. Patrick Meehan [R]

PA 8 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick [R]

PA 9 Rep. Bill Shuster [R]

PA 11 Rep. Lou Barletta [R]

PA 12 Rep. Keith Rothfus [R]

PA 15 Rep. Charles Dent [R]

PA 16 Rep. Lloyd Smucker [R]

PA 18 Rep. Tim Murphy [R]

SC 1 Rep. Marshall Mark Sanford [R]

SC 2 Rep. Joe Wilson [R]

SC 3 Rep. Jeff Duncan [R]

SC 4 Rep. Trey Gowdy [R]

SC 7 Rep. Tom Rice [R]

SD 0 Rep. Kristi Noem [R]

TN 1 Rep. David Phil Roe [R]

TN 2 Rep. John Jimmy Duncan Jr. [R]

TN 3 Rep. Charles Chuck Fleischmann [R]

TN 4 Rep. Scott DesJarlais [R]

TN 6 Rep. Diane Black [R]

TN 7 Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R]

TN 8 Rep. David Kustoff [R]

TX 1 Rep. Louie Gohmert Jr. [R]

TX 2 Rep. Ted Poe [R]

TX 3 Rep. Sam Johnson [R]

TX 4 Rep. John Ratcliffe [R]

TX 5 Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R]

TX 6 Rep. Joe Barton [R]

TX 7 Rep. John Culberson [R]

TX 8 Rep. Kevin Brady [R]

TX 10 Rep. Michael McCaul [R]

TX 11 Rep. Michael Conaway [R]

TX 12 Rep. Kay Granger [R]

TX 13 Rep. Mac Thornberry [R]

TX 14 Rep. Randy Weber [R]

TX 17 Rep. Bill Flores [R]

TX 19 Rep. Jodey Arrington [R]

TX 21 Rep. Lamar Smith [R]

TX 22 Rep. Pete Olson [R]

TX 23 Rep. Will Hurd [R]

TX 24 Rep. Kenny Marchant [R]

TX 25 Rep. Roger Williams [R]

TX 26 Rep. Michael Burgess [R]

TX 27 Rep. Blake Farenthold [R]

TX 31 Rep. John Carter [R]

TX 32 Rep. Pete Sessions [R]

TX 36 Rep. Brian Babin [R]

UT 1 Rep. Rob Bishop [R]

UT 2 Rep. Chris Stewart [R]

UT 3 Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R]

UT 4 Rep. Mia Love [R]

VA 1 Rep. Robert Wittman [R]

VA 2 Rep. Scott Taylor [R]

VA 5 Rep. Thomas Garrett [R]

VA 6 Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R]

VA 7 Rep. David Dave Brat [R]

VA 9 Rep. Morgan Griffith [R]

VA 10 Rep. Barbara Comstock [R]

WA 3 Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R]

WA 4 Rep. Dan Newhouse [R]

WA 5 Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R]

WA 8 Rep. David Reichert [R]

WI 5 Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. [R]

WI 6 Rep. Glenn Grothman [R]

WI 7 Rep. Sean Duffy [R]

WI 8 Rep. Mike Gallagher [R]

WV 1 Rep. David McKinley [R]

WV 2 Rep. Alex Mooney [R]

WV 3 Rep. Evan Jenkins [R]

WY 0 Rep. Liz Cheney [R]

Here in Newtown, we know firsthand that guns don’t make us safer. It’s clear that Americans who don’t want to become the next innocent victim of senseless and preventable gun violence must hold these representatives accountable for the bloodshed in America. We urge all voters to pay close attention and put Election Day, November 6, 2018 on their calendars. We have no choice but to vote for congressional representatives who will protect us from gun violence. We need our children to feel safe when they go to their schools, universities, parks, movies, malls, and all public and private spaces.

Meanwhile, we urge all concerned Americans to call their Senators at 202-224-3121 to implore them to reject this dangerous resolution that will put more guns in the hands of individuals with severe mental illness.

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The Newtown Action Alliance (www.newtownaction.org) is a grassroots organization formed after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It works to make America’s children, families, and all citizens safer through legislative and cultural change that will reduce gun violence in our nation.

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