June 8, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today delivered the following testimony, as prepared for delivery, to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform to address the national gun violence epidemic:
“Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney, for the invitation to testify today. I also want to thank all the members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, members from the New York City Congressional Delegation, and everyone who has testified today, especially those who have so bravely shared their stories of losing loved ones to gun violence.
“I am Eric Adams, and I am honored to appear before you today as the 110th mayor of the great City of New York to discuss the ways we can protect public safety and prevent gun violence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is high noon in America.
“Time for every one of us to decide where we stand on the issue of gun violence.
“Time to decide if it is more important to protect the profits of gun manufacturers or the lives of our children.
“Time to decide if we are going to be a nation of laws, or a confederation of chaos.
“And we must do it now.
“It is high noon in America. The clock is ticking, every day, every minute towards another hour of death.
“I am here today to ask every one of you, and everyone in this Congress, to stand with me to end gun violence and protect the lives of all Americans.
“We are facing a crisis that is killing more Americans than war. A crisis that is now the number one cause of death for our young people.
“A crisis that is flooding our cities with illegal guns faster than we can take them off the street.
“The New York Police Department has taken over 3000 illegal guns off our streets this year alone, but the guns just keep coming.
“This is a crisis that transcends party lines and affects both rural and urban communities.
“I know this firsthand as the co-chair of Everytown’s nonpartisan coalition on Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“No matter what our party affiliation, we are united in our mission to stop crime, save lives, and bring an end to gun violence.
“Because this isn’t about ‘Blue’ versus ‘Red;’ this about right versus wrong.
“Whether it is on the street wearing a badge, or in these chambers taking a vote, we must stand for what is right.
“First, we need Congress to take the handcuffs off the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and let them do their jobs. That means confirming President Biden’s nominee as soon as possible.
“And we must work together to dam all the rivers that lead to this sea of violence.
“Commonsense gun reform must become the law of the land.
“I am pleased that today the House will vote on H.R.7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, and I urge swift passage of the gun violence prevention package for consideration in the Senate.
“I also urge the Senate to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. These are bipartisan gun safety bills that will make our cities and our people safer.
“I stand with President Joe Biden in calling on Congress to act now to regulate or ban assault weapons in this country. Even if we only raise the age required to buy one of these weapons, lives will be saved.
“And we need Congress to direct federal aid to localities and states that supports not just law enforcement and violence prevention, but also access to high-quality health care, childcare, education, and housing.
“We must build a society where our youth are on a path to fulfillment, not a road to ruin.
“As mayor, my greatest responsibility is protecting the lives and the safety of the people of New York City.
“This is my calling, my duty, and my life’s work. I did it as a police officer, in a uniform and wearing the badge. And I do it now, as the elected leader of our largest American city.
“But I need your help to further protect our people and to save lives. The time to act is now.
“It is high noon in America.
“Time to live up to our ideals.
“Time to work together to protect each other and our communities.
“Time to take action on gun violence.
“Because if you truly love this country, then you love your neighbor and you fight for their freedoms, for their families, and for their lives.”