WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today ahead of the five-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Washington Navy Yard, which took place on September 16, 2013:
“Five years ago, a gunman brought terror to the halls of the Washington Navy Yard, killing twelve and injuring eight extraordinary public servants and patriots. Three of those killed were constituents of mine: Sylvia Frasier, Kenneth Proctor, and Frank Kohler. In remembering them, let us learn from their example of service to country and to our nation’s defense.
“Let us also remember that the perpetrator was able to purchase his firearm legally just two days before the shooting, even with a documented recent history of severe mental illness. What happened at Navy Yard was a tragic example of how our nation’s laws have failed to protect our people. When gun violence can strike at the heart of even a protected military facility, that is a sign that action is needed to strengthen our laws and keep the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who cannot be trusted to wield them responsibly, such as the severely mentally ill, domestic abusers, and those on the terror watch list – all of whom can, under our current laws, legally purchase firearms.
“I will continue to stand up and fight for stronger laws to prevent a recurrence of what happened at Navy Yard and so many places in our country before and since. Congress must protect the American people from the scourge of gun violence.”