February 10, 2020

Calling for Action on Gun Violence

Dear Friends,

Last week, I had the privilege of hosting Tom Mauser as my guest at the State of the Union address to highlight the urgent need for action on the gun violence epidemic from our leaders in Washington. Tom lost his son Daniel Mauser in the Columbine shooting in 1999 and has since become a vocal and prominent advocate for gun violence prevention legislation, wearing his son’s shoes throughout Colorado advocating to close the background check loophole that contributed to Daniel’s death. It was an honor to stand by him in Washington to demand an end to school shootings and the gun violence epidemic that has plagued our country since that fateful day in 1999.


Over 20 years ago, I was 14-years-old, living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado when the Columbine massacre occurred just ten miles down the road. As a young father now, it unsettles me greatly knowing my daughter will grow up in a world where school shootings are all too common place. The grief and mourning that Tom Mauser experienced, losing his son Daniel that day at Columbine, is unthinkable.

Last week in Washington, Tom and I, along with other Members of Congress who have witnessed the grief and tragedy of gun violence, publicly called upon the President and the Senate to pass legislation to keep our communities safe. Anything less does a disservice to the grief being lived out by Tom and individuals across our nation. No student, parent, teacher, or American should ever have to face the fear of gun violence, the fear that their school or movie theater or church may not be safe, or even worse, the reality of living with the trauma or accepting the loss of loved ones.

It is time to put partisan differences aside and act. I hope Tom Mauser’s attendance at the State of the Union last week will service as a reminder that Colorado has been waiting for over 20 years for federal action on gun violence, and they cannot wait any longer.


In the House and on the House Judiciary Committee, we have worked to pass meaningful gun violence prevention legislation to keep our communities safe, legislation that leadership in the Senate has refused to take a vote on. Nearly a year ago, the House passed H.R. 8, a bipartisan universal background checks bill, that a majority of Americans support, yet Majority Leader McConnell will not give the legislation a hearing or vote. Additionally, this year the House Judiciary Committee passed a red flag law and high-capacity magazine ban and held a hearing on assault weapons. It's essential that the Senate take up these bills, to keep our classrooms, communities and children safe from gun violence.


Congressman Joe Neguse