Public Safety and Gun Violence Prevention
Senator Van Hollen has been a consistent champion for common-sense measures to end the disgraceful epidemic of gun violence that results in more than 33,000 deaths every year. From mass shootings to the daily toll of violence on our streets, Congress must take action. The list of common-sense measures is clear: close the gun show loophole and implement universal background checks; plug the gaps in the current reporting systems for instant background checks; improve our mental health system and our ability to prevent individuals who pose a risk to themselves and others from obtaining firearms; ban semi-automatic assault weapons like the AR-15; limit the number of rounds in magazines; implement a handgun licensing system modeled after the Maryland law; outlaw bump stocks; and eliminate the law that shields the gun industry from lawsuits for wrongdoing. All of these measures are consistent with the Second Amendment, and we must not rest until we address gun violence in a meaningful way.
Senator Van Hollen is also working with local public safety officials and law enforcement to make sure they have the resources they need to establish safe neighborhoods for every American. Senator Van Hollen has worked to ensure that our firefighters, police, and other emergency responders have the equipment and training they need to protect the public. He has led efforts to confront violent gang activity through a comprehensive strategy of prevention, intervention, and suppression. He has also been a strong supporter of programs to strengthen community-oriented policing because it is essential that police have the trust of every community they serve. Greater transparency serves the interests of both the public and the police.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen is working to provide federal resources for training, hiring personnel, and body cameras. The overwhelming majority of police put their lives at risk and work hard every day to protect the public, and they deserve our respect. Those who do violate the public trust need to be held accountable. In cases where there is a systemic pattern of abuse, the Department of Justice has a responsibility to intervene. The goal should be the same for all – to ensure the safety and security of every person in every neighborhood.