Congresswoman Escobar joins Congressional call to ban military-style assault weapons

El Paso News
Veronica Escobar

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Congresswoman Veronica Escobar is joining other lawmakers in a call to the Biden Administration to ban the importation of military-style assault weapons. 

Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado and Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois spearheaded a letter signed by more than 60 lawmakers that urges President Biden to issue an executive order to ban assault weapons from being imported into the U.S.

Specifically, the letter calls for a ban on importing semi-automatic rifles, as well as high-capacity magazines.

The call comes days after a mass shooting in Neguse’s district in Boulder, Colo., at grocery store called King Soopers. Ten people were killed in the shooting. 

“This week, my community in Boulder witnessed a horrific and senseless mass shooting in which 10 individuals tragically lost their lives. Our hearts are breaking from this tragedy and we know this grief is not ours alone but carried by a nation that has witnessed the horrific pain of gun violence far too many times, ” said Neguse.

The shooting in Boulder is reminding many in the Borderland of the pain the community is still recovering from following the Cielo Vista Walmart shooting on Aug. 3, 2019. 

“Assault weapons have destroyed too many lives and brought pain to El Paso, Boulder and communities across America,” said Escobar.

In 2020, more than 19,000 people were killed by gun violence, an increase of 25 percent from 2019.

The rates of death by gun violence correspond to increases in the number of guns being imported and purchased in the U.S.

The U.S. imported an average of 1.5 million firearms from 1986 to 2008. That figure rose to 4.2 million imported firearms per year from 2008 to 2018, driven by handgun and rifle imports.

“As my colleagues in Congress and I continue to honor victims and survivors with common sense gun violence prevention legislation. I am joining Congressman Neguse’s plea to President Biden to issue an executive order banning the importation of these lethal weapons,” continued Escobar. “Now is the time to prohibit the import of assault weapons, aggressively enforce this ban and prevent more mass shooting injuries and deaths.”

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