Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman on Tuesday voiced support for a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines following multiple shootings over the long holiday weekend, including one that left six dead and dozens wounded in a Chicago suburb.
“Gisele and I are heartbroken for the victims of these shootings and their families,” Fetterman said in a statement. “We wish both law enforcement officers who were injured in the Philadelphia shooting a safe and quick recovery.”
“Democrats in the Senate need to scrap the filibuster and immediately pass common-sense reform.”
“There is a sad irony about our country experiencing multiple mass shootings on a day that is meant to celebrate its greatness and our freedom,” said Fetterman, who is taking on millionaire television personality Mehmet Oz in the race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, a critical race for Democrats as they seek to keep and expand their narrow majority in the upper chamber.
“The unfortunate reality is that yesterday’s shooting was not an outlier,” said the Democratic candidate, who is currently serving as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor. “Just several weekends ago in Philadelphia, three people were killed and 12 were shot in one of the city’s most vibrant areas, which is a stark reminder that no one and nowhere is immune to gun violence. And while these shootings receive national attention, they pale in comparison to the relentless gun violence afflicting people in their neighborhoods every day.”
“We cannot and must not become numb to this ever-increasing gun violence,” he continued. “Washington needs to act and take on the NRA by shutting down and prosecuting gun dealers whose weapons routinely wind up at crime scenes. Democrats in the Senate need to scrap the filibuster and immediately pass common-sense reform like universal background checks for all gun sales and a ban on military-grade assault weapons and high capacity magazines.”
Despite the proposal’s overwhelming popularity with the U.S. public, congressional lawmakers excluded an assault-weapons ban from recently approved compromise gun legislation due to GOP opposition.
In contrast to Fetterman’s outspoken support for gun control legislation, Oz has campaigned as a fervent opponent of what he’s called “liberal gun grabs” and touted his status as “a member of the National Rifle Association.”
When he faced criticism from his GOP primary opponents earlier this year over his past statements supporting gun-safety measures, Oz released an ad declaring, “When people say I won’t support guns, they’re dead wrong.”