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January 14, 2013

Thompson named as Vice-Chair of Congressional Gun Violence Task Force

(WASHINGTON) – Today, U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding the need for gun control legislation. Recently, Congressman Thompson was asked by his colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus to serve as Vice-Chairman of the task force focused on reducing and preventing gun violence.

As an avid outdoorsman and as an elected official who has seen far too many senseless gun related deaths, I clearly understand the passion of advocates on both sides of gun control issue, Thompson said. There is little doubt that this debate will be contentious; however, I implore my colleagues to engage in meaningful discussions and ignore the usual political pandering.

From schools in Connecticut to communities in Mississippi, we cannot continue to sit idly by while the number of deaths continues to mount. Sadly, Mississippi ranks third in the nation per capita for the number of gun murders committed per year but the real outrage is that we have the ability to help end gun violence but appear to lack the will.

A comprehensive approach to address gun violence should be taken to protect the freedom and safety of all Americans. I look forward to working to enact meaningful legislation that will help make our streets and communities safer while also protecting law-abiding individuals' right to own firearms.

Over the next several weeks the task force will hold a number of meetings and hearings designed to identify the best policies to reduce and prevent gun violence. The task force will meet with and hear from law enforcement officers, gun owners, sportsmen groups, gun manufactures, gun retailers, mental health experts, gun violence prevention groups, members of the entertainment industry, education organizations and other relevant stakeholders. A comprehensive set of policy proposals will be released by the task force in early February.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978