Ocasio-Cortez Raises Concern Over Criminalization Provisions in Senate Gun Bill

After a bipartisan group of senators announced that they’ve reached a consensus on a framework for a gun reform bill on Sunday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) voiced her concern over proposals in the bill to increase gun-related criminalization.

Ocasio-Cortez stated in an interview with CNN on SundayAlthough the senators are still working on the bill text, she doubts it will be successful due to its focus upon criminal punishment. “I am disappointed to hear a focus on increased criminalization and juvenile criminalization instead of having the focus on guns,” she said, adding that, “the background checks provision is encouraging.”

The New York progressive went on to say that she’s hesitant to vote for a bill that would act as yet another reason to increase police budgets and bolster the criminal legal system.

“If we’re talking about just using this as an excuse to dramatically increase an enforcement mechanism that we know is not capable, right now, of preventing mass shootings, then I’m not really interested in doing something for show for the American public,” she said.

Police and prison abolitionists argue against gun control legislation that aims to increase gun-related criminalization not only doesn’t workHowever, it also targets Black, Latinx, and other marginalized communities who are already victims to over-policing. Gun safety advocates believe that the bipartisan bill would allow guns. to keep flowing freelyThe gun industry and the resulting violence to continue making a profit, failing to address the root problem.

Senators announced over the weekend that they’ve reached an agreement on a bill that wouldIn the aftermath of the deadly mass shootings at Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and elsewhere, this bill creates new federal offenses related to gun trafficking. Beyond.

The bill would create stricter background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21 who are attempting to buy a gun, and would close the “boyfriend loophole” by restricting people convicted of domestic violence against a romantic partner, whether in a married relationship or not, from buying a gun. It would also provide funds for school safety programs and mental health services.

The bill was the subject of widespread criticismGun safety advocates point out that the focus is largely on issues such as mental health. the number of doors in schools — issues that the National Rifle Association has claimed are the causes of mass shootings in order to distract from calls to restrict The gun supplyThe deep-pocketed gun lobby.

Notably, the bill doesn’t include a provision favoredDemocrats propose to raise the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles to 21. This would allow for the vast majority of guns that are used in mass shootings to be purchased. are purchased legally, and the 18 year-old gunmen in both Buffalo and UvaldeThe shootings were legally authorized to use semiautomatic guns shortly before the executions.

Ocasio Cortez noted that any Proposals to IncreasePolice forces in Uvalde are not effective in decreasing gun violence after mass shootings. Even though 60 police officers were present at the Uvalde scene, officers waited over an hour to intervene to stop the shooter — all while tackling, pepper spraying and tazingThe distraught parents waited outside the school, begging them for their children’s safety.

“Even the police department from the Buffalo mass shooting came and testified before the House Oversight Committee, and they said, ‘more of us is not going to help,’” Ocasio-Cortez said. “At the end of the day, what we need to address in mass shootings is the widespread availability of guns.”