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Nadler Joins Students in Gun Violence Protest, Calls on Congress to Finally Act

Washington, DC, March 14, 2018

 Nadler: “We must make schools safer, but the best way to do that is to do more to prevent gun violence from occurring in the first place.” 

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) attended a rally outside of the U.S. Capitol to support students across the country who staged protests demanding Congress address gun violence in America, before speaking on the House floor on the STOP School Violence Act.

Ranking Member Nadler supported passage of H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, legislation, which, as amended, would authorize $50 million annually for grants administered by the Department of Justice to fund school safety initiatives and $25 million annually for physical improvements, including metal detectors, better locks, and systems for schools to notify law enforcement of emergencies.

Speaking on the House floor, Ranking Member Nadler praised the bill, but stressed the need for more decisive legislative action to address gun violence: “We must make schools safer, but the best way to do that is to do more to prevent gun violence from occurring in the first place.  Congress MUST do more to stop gun violence.  It is not enough to say that staff and students must do more to protect themselves.  It is time to take decisive action to stop gun violence in our communities. You are faced with a simple choice, Ms. Speaker, will you stand with these young people who are demanding action?  Or will you stand with the NRA?”

Read Ranking Member Nadler’s full floor statement on the STOP School Violence Act.

Watch Nadler’s floor statement here.

This morning, Ranking Member Nadler spoke on the House floor to demand action on gun violence prevention legislation. Watch here.

Below are Ranking Member Nadler’s remarks, as delivered:

“As we speak, thousands of young people from across the country are gathered outside to protest gun violence and to ask, to beseech, to demand that we take action.

“Ms. Speaker, we know what to do. We know that we ought to amend the law to provide effective background checks before people can purchase guns. Not just background checks when you purchase from a licensed gun dealer, but background checks when you purchase a gun anyplace. We know that we ought to eliminate the three day limits and if they don’t finish the background check within 3 days you can’t get your gun.

“We know that we should renew the assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 so you can’t buy military killing machines in this country for civilian use. We know we ought to ban the high capacity magazines that can convert guns into killing machines for large numbers of people; have no other purpose. You don’t hunt a deer with a high capacity magazine.

“Now, we ought to know and we know we ought to ban bump stocks. And we know the other things we ought to do. But we are…too many of us are cowards. We quail before the National Rifle Association. And we know the fact is that it’s guns in the hands of people that kill people. Every other country in the world, every other industrial country in the world, we stand out like a sore thumb. If you look at other statistics, this country, Great Britain, 75 people killed by guns in a year. Another country, 142.

“No country is more than 3 digits except the United States at 33,000. And they tell us it is mental health. The American people do not have a mentally ill health rate that is a thousand times, or ten times, or twenty times, or forty times more than people in Western Europe, or Japan, or Australia.

“You cannot explain a difference of 75 or 150 to 33,000 by mental health. And they tell us we should arm teachers. But we know, that trained police officers hit their targets about a third of the time when they fire a gun; and in a gun fight when the adrenaline is running, 13%. If we arm the teachers, we will have more teachers and more students killed.

“And we have a President who has shown cowardice. He criticized Senator Toomey for being afraid of the NRA and then he, after meeting with the NRA backed down on everything he said he would do. Mr. Speaker, as I said, we know what to do. We are the only country in the world with the kind of gun murder rates that we have. The Republicans have opposed all the measures that we ought to take. But the Republicans have a choice. They can continue to be complicit in the repeated slaughter in our schools, in our churches, and our concert halls, and our streets, by continuing their cowardly subservience to the NRA. Or they can act to protect us and our children. They know how to do it. They cannot have it both ways. Let’s see what they do. I thank you. I yield back.”

Ranking Member Nadler joined his Democratic colleagues and students from across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, for a rally at the U.S. Capitol to address gun violence. Watch here.

On March 7, 2018, during a House Judiciary Committee markup, Ranking Member Nadler called for the House Judiciary Committee to address gun violence in America.

On February 21, 2018, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member Nadler, urged Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to bring gun violence prevention legislation before the House Judiciary Committee for a vote.

On November 7, 2017, Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to request that the Committee’s ATF briefing be conducted as a public hearing, and that the FBI be included to discuss background check issues. 

On November 1, 2017, all House Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte, urging him to hold hearings on gun violence in America.

On October 2, 2017, immediately following the Las Vegas shooting, Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to renew their call for hearings on these issues.


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