During today’s House Judiciary Committee markup, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called for the House Judiciary Committee to address gun violence in America.
Ranking Member Nadler delivered the following remarks at the beginning of the markup:
“Mr. Chairman and colleagues – Before I discuss the bill before us, I want to say a word about what is not before us, namely legislation to strengthen our firearms laws. This is the Committee’s first markup session since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. I want to recognize our colleague Ted Deutch, who represents Parkland, Florida, and who has worked tirelessly to help the grieving families and who has been a fierce advocate for sensible gun safety legislation.
“As the Democratic Members of the Committee stated in our letter to the Chairman on February 21, it is long past due that the Committee with jurisdiction over our gun laws take action to reduce the level of gun violence that is not only a periodic, but still too frequent, mass shooting issue and one that impacts communities across our country every day.
“At the end of last year, this Committee reported the bipartisan Fix NICS bill, which would help get more information from state and federal agencies into the background check system. Of course, even the modest Fix NICS bill only made it so far in this House as an independent bill. Unfortunately, the House did not take it up separately, but instead included it in a very dangerous bill to expand the concealed carrying of firearms in this country.
“The Fix NICS bill is as good as far as its limited scope will allow but, if we recognize that plugging gaps in the system is a worthy goal, then we should also proceed to plug the biggest gap in the system – the fact that no matter how complete the information in the system, the background check requirement does not apply to guns sold by those who are not licensed dealers. That is what we should address without delay. Even President Trump, in his meeting with members of the House and Senate, recently urged action on expanding background checks.
“We should do that and more, including addressing the issues of assault weapons, high capacity ammunition magazines, and gun violence protection orders.
“We know what to do. We just need to summon up the will to do it, and I hope that we will do so. Any legislation to address these issues must be processed promptly, but through regular order by this Committee.
“Relatedly, I note that we have been told that H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, will be considered on the floor under suspension of the rules next week. Although that is a bipartisan bill concerning school safety, I believe the Committee should have marked it up so that our Members would have had an opportunity to discuss it through our regular process. I hope we will follow that process in the future. Thank you.”
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.