CONYERS ON HORRIFIC LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: CONGRESS MUST HOLD HEARINGS ON GUN VIOLENCE
Washington, D.C.-House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement after the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas:
“Many families woke up this morning with their lives completely shattered. I am heartbroken for these families who have lost sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. This horror has no place in our country, and I pray for those affected today.
“It is unfathomable that Congress’s response to these mass shootings continues to be that of complete inaction. Not only does Congress refuse to pass legislation that strengthens background checks or remove military-type weaponry from our streets, but it ignores the existence of this epidemic in its entirety. My Republican colleagues refuse to hold hearings on the scourge of gun violence in our country or adopt legislation designed to actually make Americans safer from gun violence. Congress must act, and it must do so before we find ourselves once again putting out statements of condolences. Moments of silence are just not enough.”
Today, Ranking Member Conyers and House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for him to remove H.R. 3668, the so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,” from the House calendar indefinitely.
The firearms-related provisions of H.R. 3668 would (1) weaken regulation of the interstate transportation of firearms; (2) make it easier for private citizens to obtain silencers by removing silencers from the protections in the National Firearms Act (NFA), which currently restricts the possession and sale of certain particularly dangerous firearms and accessories; and (3) remove the “sporting purposes” clause, which restricts the importation of firearms with certain features, and eliminate the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to reclassify certain ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.”
In their letter, the Members wrote, “…we ask that you immediately announce that this legislation will not be taken up by the House of Representatives. It is not enough to simply hold a moment of silence, or place U.S. flags at half-staff; rather we believe that, in the wake of the horrific shootings last evening in Las Vegas, you must clearly state that the House will not seek to make matters worse by passing this legislation, which includes a number of provisions that would make us more vulnerable to mass shootings and subject our citizens and law enforcement personnel to an increased risk of gun violence.”
Conyers and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) also sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to renew their call for hearings on these issues.
Full text of the letter to Chairman Goodlatte is available here.
Full text of the letter to Speaker Ryan is available here.