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Danbury's U.S. Rep. Esty Leads Efforts For Gun Control, Mental Health Aid

Representative Esty joining other officials to end gun violence.
Representative Esty joining other officials to end gun violence. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. – Today, one day after the two-year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (Conn.-5) announced efforts she is leading to fully fund critical federal mental health grants and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Today, Esty wrote to President Obama and his administration urging them to fully fund NICS and the U.S. Department of Education Project SERV grant in the President’s upcoming budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016.

“Today, I’m urging President Obama and his administration to make gun violence prevention a priority in the upcoming budget proposal. While I strongly believe Congress needs to pass comprehensive background checks and reform our current mental health system, at the very least, we need to ensure that the systems we have in place work and that we fully fund critical grants that have helped communities like Newtown heal in the aftermath of tragedy. I call on President Obama and my colleagues in Congress to do all we can to keep our children and our communities safe from gun violence,” said Esty.

Over the last two years, Esty has helped secure over $16 million in federal funds for victims and their families, first responders, and members of the Newtown community, including over $6.3 million in Project SERV grants and a $775,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime announced last Friday. Additionally, the most recent spending bill passed by Congress included Esty’s bipartisan amendment increasing NICS funding.

Earlier Monday, Esty joined Connecticut's U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, families of victims of gun violence, and advocates in renewing the call for federal gun violence prevention reforms, including comprehensive background checks and stricter punishments for illegal gun trafficking and straw purchasing.

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