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NEA commends Senate Judiciary Committee for standing against gun violence

Van Roekel urges Congress to act quickly


WASHINGTON - March 15, 2013 -

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee for the passage of four bills out of committee aimed at curbing the epidemic of gun violence.

In a letter to committee members prior to the Senate mark up, NEA urged support of the four bills, including legislation that would ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips; instituting universal background checks to close loopholes; preventing gun trafficking; and expanding a grant program to provide Federal assistance to schools to enhance safety measures. The bills go to the full Senate next for a vote.

Members of the Judiciary Committee stood beside the victims of violence when they voted yes on these important bills,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Now the rest of the Senate must do the same.”

“Thank you to Chairman Leahy and the members of the Committee for their hard work on this issue on behalf of educators and their students, who all deserve a safe and secure learning environment,” said Van Roekel. “Congress must recognize that this is not a partisan issue — it’s a safety issue — and pass commonsense measures to help prevent more tragedies as soon as possible. Our educators are overwhelmingly behind you.”

In a recent poll of NEA members, educators overwhelmingly support stronger laws to prevent gun violence.
90 percent of NEA members polled favor a proposal to require background checks before people can buy guns at gun shows or from other private sellers, including 85 percent who strongly back this proposal.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823, srobertson@nea.org