Hispanic Federation on President Obama’s Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence in the United States

Hispanic Federation has issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s just released executive actions addressing gun violence in the United States.

“Today, President Obama announced a series of important measures to reduce the incidence of gun violence in our communities. Hispanic Federation is proud to support the President’s common sense reforms and congratulates him for taking the initiative on this important issue.

The psychological trauma, injuries and deaths caused by firearms in our country are a national shame. More than 30,000 Americans die each year as a result of guns. And in the last decade alone, more than 20,000 American children under the age of 18 have died as a result of firearms. As we have seen all too often in recent years, no one is immune to this violence. From Columbine to Newtown to Charleston, Americans of every age, class, gender and race are at risk of gun-related injury or death.

In Latino communities, the threat posed by guns is especially acute. Between 1999 and 2013, nearly 50,000 Hispanic Americans died as a result of gun violence. Most of those victims were young and the victims of homicides committed with a firearm. In neighborhoods across the nation, Latinos live in fear of gun violence and are disproportionately its victims.

While Americans die, Congress has dithered. President Obama’s executive actions are an important first step toward solving the gun violence crisis in the United States. We are especially pleased that the President has addressed the loopholes and inefficiencies in the national background check system, increased enforcement of existing gun control laws, and made a significant, new investment in mental health treatment and care.

Taken together, these measures may not solve our national gun violence crisis but they should be a signal to Congress that it is unacceptable to stand on the sidelines while thousands of Americans die each year. There is much more work to be done. We hope Congress has the courage to do it.”