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Guns and Justice

The immortal words of Dr. King remain true today: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, part of my job is to advocate the values of American justice – liberty, equality, freedom, and democracy – to the entire world. Yet, as I’ve seen too many times in my life and as the world saw in grueling detail last summer, the dreams of Dr. King still have not yet been realized for many in our country. As an example, gun violence is a plague in our nation, and it is my duty as your Congressman to fight for a cure. There is absolutely no reason why Americans should live in fear of being a victim of gun violence. Parents should not have to worry that their children will not come home from school because they have been murdered in their classrooms.

Furthermore, too often today the justice inequities in our country disproportionately affect our communities of color. We have seen too many black men plead that they cannot breathe to allow ourselves to remain silent. In the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer, this Congress has already drafted numerous pieces of legislation to address the injustices that African Americans and communities of color face today.

As the Congressman for New York’s 5th District, I am proud to sponsor and cosponsor several of these bills because I am committed to making our streets safer and extending the promises of the American justice system to each and every citizen. Too many lives have been cut short by weapons that have no place on our streets, and too many do people do not get the due process they deserve. However, as Dr. King’s companion and my late colleague Rep. John Lewis said, “freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society”. I am honored to take part in this effort with the following legislation:

H.R. 1, For the People Act of 2021 addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government by expanding voter registration and voting access.

H.R. 1280, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements.

H.R. 55, Emmett Till Antilynching Act - would specify that an offense involving lynching is a hate crime act. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a prison term, a fine, or both.