We, Steering Committee members of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative, writing in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy and amid the ongoing gun violence that plagues the inner cities of our nation, urge support for sensible legislation to reduce gun violence.
Measures we would like to see adopted include universal comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases, limitation of the size of magazines legally available for semi-automatic rifles, and a ban on military assault-type rifles.
We also support legislation currently under review, The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013, which would specifically prohibit the straw purchase of firearms and strengthens the law prohibiting material false statements when buying a gun.
We also urge members of the Senate to stop blocking the appointment of a new director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, which has not had a full-time director since 2006. We also urge Congress to adequately fund this agency so that it can effectively enforce existing laws and future laws we hope will soon be adopted and signed into law by the president.
We support the right of citizens to own guns, but every right implies responsibilities and we seek sensible gun regulation to ensure the common good and promote domestic tranquility.
MARK E. RONDEAU