American Bar Association

ABA president Bass offers sympathy in wake of Vegas shooting, backs changes to prevent gun deaths

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ABA President Hilarie Bass

ABA President Hilarie Bass has issued a statement mourning the innocent people who lost their lives in Las Vegas and expressing sympathy for those who were injured and traumatized by the attack.

Late Sunday, 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured by Stephen Paddock, 64, as he fired on a crowd of concert-goers from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. He was found dead of an apparent suicide when police forced their way into the room.

“In the aftermath of yet another tragic mass shooting in America, more than sympathy is needed,” Bass says in the statement. “The ABA will rededicate its efforts to facilitate changes to stop senseless gun deaths.

“Legal experts from all backgrounds agree this can be done through sensible regulations, legislation and widespread education that can protect the safety of individuals and their constitutional rights. And the ABA is working with a broad coalition of medical societies and health organizations to address gun violence as a critical public health problem.

“Effective and constitutional solutions exist. It is past time to work together to enact them.”

The statement didn’t outline what changes the ABA will be seeking.

In August, the policy-making ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution calling for laws that authorize courts to issue gun violence restraining orders when a person poses a serious threat to himself or to others.

In 2013, the ABA supported a bill that would limit the future sale and transfer of assault weapons and ammunition devices that hold more than 10 bullets. The association also supported a bill that year that increased penalties for people who buy guns on behalf of those who do not meet firearms requirements.

A summary of ABA policies on gun violence is here.

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