Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) testifies on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C., at the second day of a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-Ala.) before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/TNS)

I write in response to my New Orleans constituent Tracy Ball’s passionate letter demanding action from her representatives in Congress to prevent further gun violence. I thank her for drawing attention to this important issue and for calling upon Congress to act.

The Las Vegas mass shooting took a toll on many Americans. I send my condolences to all who were affected. However, I know that as a member of Congress with the power to make a difference, even my deepest thoughts and prayers are not enough. I know that to further prevent this tragedy from happening again, we must continue to fight for common sense gun regulations. To this end, I have supported bills that would ban assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks. I have also co-sponsored bills to close the “Charleston loophole” and establish a universal background check system for gun purchasers. Unfortunately, all of these bills failed to receive a vote under Republican congressional control.

Regardless of the setbacks, I promise to continue fighting for the protection of the American people and hope for my colleagues will do the same. We can and must do better.

Cedric Richmond

U.S. representative

New Orleans