Padilla Urges Judiciary Committee to Advance Commonsense Gun Legislation in Wake of Mass Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

Senator Padilla delivers remarks on need to advance commonsense gun legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) spoke about the need to advance commonsense gun legislation in the country during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to confirm Steven Dettelbach, President Biden’s nominee to serve as ATF Director. The remarks follow a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left at least 21 victims dead.

WATCH: View Video of Padilla’s Questioning / Download Video of Padilla’s Questioning

Padilla’s remarks as delivered are below:

I just want to join the chorus of members of this committee and the Senate, in sharing my condolences to the families and the communities reeling from recent gun violence across the country. From Buffalo, New York, to Laguna Woods, California, and now Uvalde, Texas, the gun violence in our communities, that our communities are experiencing, is simply, simply unacceptable.

I’ve spoken nonstop since yesterday’s tragedy, not just as a Senator. But Mr. Chair, as you know, as a father of three young school-aged children. This shouldn’t have to be the case, and in the last two weeks we have experienced at least 22 mass shootings across the country.

No other developed country has to deal with this, but we do. Now some folks suggest that arming teachers or providing more armed presence on school campuses will make them safer. If more guns were the answer, the United States would be the safest nation in the world. But it’s not the case.

When I was growing up, I remember on at least an annual basis, we’d go through these fire drills at school—what to do if there’s a fire on campus. I’ve come from California. I grew up in California. So, we’re also not unfamiliar with earthquake drills.

To think that our young people today have to practice active shooter training is a sad statement on our society, when young children don’t feel safe going to school. When people have to wonder whether it’s safe to go to a grocery store, or house of worship. It’s a nightmare come true.

I know the jurisdiction over gun safety straddles a few committees—I sit on the Homeland Security Committee, but this is the primary, the Judiciary committee, and I hope that we can find the will to advance commonsense gun safety legislation. Because yes, it is a choice to take action.

Inaction is also a choice. I choose to take action we cannot sit idly by and watch children in America die to gun violence.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


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