Acevedo to Congress on gun control: ‘Doing nothing is not acceptable’

February 6, 2019 GMT

AUSTIN — Characterizing gun violence as “one of the greatest public health epidemics facing the nation,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo pressed Congress on Wednesday to pass a “red flag” law and tighten background check requirements this year, adding that saving one life is enough to justify new restrictions.

Amid what he referred to as “almost regular mass shootings” in the United States, Acevedo asked lawmakers on the U.S. House’s Judiciary Committee to use common sense to balance 2nd Amendment protections while addressing gun violence. He then implored lawmakers to “act now” to require universal background checks, expand mental health services and pass “red flag” provisions that would temporarily take guns from people deemed by a judge to present a danger to themselves or others.


“Doing nothing is not acceptable,” said Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “Our sons, our daughters, our children, our family members, our police officers are being shot, killed and maimed and I would urge Congress to do something this term. It’s our time to make a difference because our streets, our neighborhoods are truly drowning in the blood of our victims and the tears of their loved ones.”

Last week, five Houston police officers were shot and injured in a drug raid in southeast Houston.

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Acevedo testified along with a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nearly a year after a shooter killed 17 students and staff members at the school. Also testifying were a gun owner who says she was raped as a college student because she wasn’t allowed to bring her gun on campus, a medical professional and experts on domestic and gun violence and the law.