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September 4th: House Judiciary to Markup Gun Violence Prevention Bills

New York, N.Y.– Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced that he is calling the House Judiciary Committee back into session during the Congressional District work period to address the issue of gun violence prevention. On September 4, 2019 at 10:00 am, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up a series of bills to help respond to the growing problem of gun violence — H.R. 1186, the Keep Americans Safe Act; H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019, amended to also include provisions from H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act; and H.R. 2708, the Disarm Hate Act. In addition, on September 25, 2019, the Committee will hold a hearing on military-style assault weapons.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler released the following statement:

“For far too long, politicians in Washington have only offered thoughts and prayers in the wake of gun violence tragedies. Thoughts and prayers have never been enough.  To keep our communities safe, we must act. 

“Although we know the issue of gun violence won’t be fixed overnight, there are steps Congress can and must take to address it. House Democrats ushered in a new era this Congress where we swiftly passed landmark, bipartisan legislation to strengthen the gun background check system and close loopholes.  It’s been more than 160 days since those bills passed the House and have awaited passage in the Senate. It’s shameful that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the Senate back to take up this legislation.

“While we urge our Senate colleagues to act, Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe. On September 4th, the Judiciary Committee will take additional steps to address gun violence by marking up the Keep Americans Safe Act which would ban high capacity ammunition magazines that are a particularly dangerous feature of the assault weapons often used in mass shootings.  In Dayton, the shooter used a magazine capable of holding 100 rounds.  We will also mark up the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms, as well as the Disarm Hate Act, which would prevent those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing firearms. We won’t stop there.  We will also hold a hearing on September 25th to consider ways to address the dangers posed by assault weapons.  These should not be partisan issues, and it is my hope we can move forward on these matters with support on both sides of the aisle, including the President. 

“There is more that we can and must do to address the gun violence epidemic. We will not sit idly by. I call on my Senate colleagues to join us in this effort by swiftly passing gun safety bills the House has already passed and also by acting on the additional bills we will be considering.”

Date:               September 4, 2019

Time:               10:00 a.m.

Location:         2141 Rayburn House Office Building

                        Washington D.C.

Livestream:     The markup will stream live here.

Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed with the House Radio-TV Gallery (202) 225-5214.

Background:

H.R.1186, the Keep Americans Safe Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch, would ban high capacity ammunition magazines.   These magazines are a critical feature that makes many assault weapons particularly lethal.

H.R.1236, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal, provides incentives through grants for states to adopt laws providing for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms.  In addition, H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Lucy McBath, establishes a procedure for obtaining Extreme Risk Protection Orders in federal court.

H.R.2708, the Disarm Hate Act, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline, includes those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes in the list of categories of individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms, and who would be prohibited from doing so through background checks.

Under current law, background checks are conducted by licensed gun dealers only. Unlicensed sellers do not have to conduct a background check, even if the seller sells a large number of guns.  H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, would make it illegal for any person who is not a licensed firearm importer, manufacturer, or dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed, without a background check. The bill also provides a number of exemptions to this requirement, including gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. 

H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, addresses a loophole that contributed to the tragic hate-crime murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. The shooter was not legally allowed to possess a firearm as a result of drug charges, but he still was able to purchase his gun from a licensed dealer, who made the decision to transfer after three business days had elapsed, despite not having received a definitive response from the background check system.

On February 6, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee held a historic gun violence prevention hearing. Watch here.

On February 13, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 by a vote of 23-15 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 by a vote of 21-14. The full House passed these bills on February 28, 2019.

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