WirePOLITICS: State, U.S. reps react to terrorist attack in Orlando

Tom Waring, the Wire

State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, the Democratic nominee in the 8th Congressional District, issued the following statement in reaction to the terrorist attack on an LGBT nightclub in Orlando:

“My heart goes out to the people of Orlando, the LGBT community and to the individuals caught in the attack in the Pulse nightclub and their families. Though we wait for all the facts, we know now that this is undoubtedly a domestic act of terrorism and a crime of hatred. Today, I join millions of Americans in reflecting upon and praying for the victims of this massacre, though I believe unequivocally that thoughts and prayers are not enough. Our time demands action.

“As a state representative and candidate for Congress, I will continue to speak out against bigotry, standing with and advocating for our LGBT neighbors. I will also continue to reach across party lines to carry on the long fight for sensible gun safety laws and to keep weapons of war out of the hands of violent extremists.”

Meanwhile, Santarsiero called on Congress to immediately take action and vote in favor of commonsense legislation to improve the safety of Americans.

Specifically, he wants to close the loophole that allows suspects on the federal Terrorist Watch List to purchase firearms.

In the state House, Santarsiero is the author of a similar piece of legislation – H.B. 1770 –  that would prevent those on the federal terrorist watch lists, including the no-fly list, from purchasing guns in Pennsylvania.

Following the tragedy in Orlando, House Democrats are calling for an immediate vote on new policies like the “No Fly, No Buy” legislation.

“In the wake of these repeated tragedies, thoughts, prayers and moments of silence are not enough,” Santarsiero said. “It’s time to take commonsense steps to keep our communities safe. I urge Congress to immediately vote to enact background checks to stop those on federal terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms. We can protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners while also keeping weapons of war out of the hands of violent extremists.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.), chairman of the Task Force to Combat Terrorism Financing, released the following statement regarding the terror attack in Orlando, Florida:

“(Director of National Intelligence) James Clapper warned that we must be prepared and vigilant for the possibility that ISIS will infiltrate our country.  As we continue to grieve and pray for those devastated by this attack, we must redouble our efforts and be clear in our resolve to protect our nation and her citizens from the radical Islamic terrorism that continues to target us. This fight must be carried out on multiple fronts: through diplomatic action, addressing terror financing and, when appropriate, the use of military force. We must never lose sight of the challenges we face nor the capacity, as Americans, to address them.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan ordered that flags at the U.S. Capitol be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

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