Members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation called for action on federal gun control on Sunday in response to mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that left at least 29 people dead and that wounded more than 50 others.
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-NH, had been in El Paso, Texas, visiting the border with colleagues on Friday, the day before a gunman opened fire at a Walmart, killing 20 people.
“My heart breaks for the city and the victims of today’s horrific mass shooting. Our hearts are with all who have been affected by today’s violence, the first responders & the El Paso community,” Pappas posted on Twitter on Saturday.
Pappas followed up with another post on Sunday following a second mass shooting, in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured around 1 a.m. Sunday. Pappas called for the U.S. Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take action.
“It does not have to be this way. The House has passed common sense legislation for universal background checks,” Pappas said. “We must demand Mitch McConnell take this up now.”
Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH, also called upon the Senate to consider legislation that the House passed in February that would require background checks on all firearm sales in the country.
“Our hearts are with every community across our nation that has been affected by gun violence,” Kuster posted. “We took action to #EndGunViolence — it’s time for the Senate to act.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, released a statement Sunday calling for “an aggressive federal response” including “rigorous” and universal background checks on gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons.
“Words will not stop these acts of terrorism,” Shaheen said. “It doesn’t have to be this way and we must not accept this as normal. We owe it to every victim of gun violence.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, offered condolences and prayers to the victims, their families and first responders.
“Every day that we go without addressing our nation’s gun violence crisis, more American lives are put at risk,” Hassan posted on Twitter.
McConnell also posted tweets condemning the shootings but made no mention of the Senate taking up gun control measures.
“Sickening to learn this morning of another mass murder in Dayton, Ohio overnight. Two horrifying acts of violence in less than 24 hours,” McConnell said. “We stand with law enforcement as they continue working to keep Americans safe and bring justice.”
In accordance with President Donald Trump’s proclamation, Gov. Chris Sununu has directed flags on all public buildings and grounds in the state of New Hampshire to fly at half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on Thursday in honor of the victims in El Paso and Dayton.