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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Judiciary, Crime, and Guns

Standing up for the safety of our communities is something that I have been doing since my earliest days in the House of Representatives. On February 16, 1993, I stood in the well of the House of Representatives and said,

“I believe the threat and danger of semi-automatic assault weapons in this country are grossly understated.”

In the wake of national tragedies at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colorado, and many others, and the senseless killings that occur in the City of Chicago week after week – my words have sadly been proven only too true.

The very first legislation that I introduced in the House banned the domestic manufacturing and transfer of semi-automatic assault weapons. Shortly thereafter, I introduced legislation to prohibit the possession or transfer of Junk Guns, called Saturday Night Specials. I supported the Assault Weapons Ban when it passed in 1994 and stand ready to support efforts again in the 113th Congress to reinstate the ban in the wake of too many horrific acts of violence. I do not believe that having military-grade weapons like assault rifles or semi-automatic weapons with large magazines available to the general public makes our streets or communities safer. 

On Mar. 5, 2013, I reintroduced the Junk Gun Ban, H.R. 965. This legislation addresses cheap, poorly made handguns that are prone to misfire and malfunction and disproportionately used in crime. Most of the crimes committed on streets across the country are with handguns and this is a particularly dangerous subset of handguns that are manufactured in the U.S. but not subject to the same design and safety requirements that similar handguns must meet in order to be imported into the U.S.

As a member of the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues like Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers and Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby Scott on legislation to prevent unconscionable mass shootings and gun violence.

More on Judiciary, Crime, and Guns

April 19, 2018 Press Release
Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) signed a ‘subpoena’ calling on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to come before the Committee and explain why there have been no hearings and no investigations into “the President’s alleged collusion with Russia or efforts by the President and other Republicans…to derail or obstruct said investigation.”
April 17, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, April 17, 2018) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) have led all Senate and House Judiciary Democrats in a letter condemning recent actions by the Justice Department undermining basic due process protections for immigrants. As Members of the committees of jurisdiction over the Justice Department, immigration law, and constitutional law, they raised concerns that the Justice Department’s actions flout Supreme Court precedent and abandon the most basic notions of fairness within the American justice system.
April 11, 2018 Press Release
On the House Floor this morning, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) addressed his colleagues about the President’s “disgraceful” reaction to developments in the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including “lawful warrants legally executed against the homes, offices, and hotel rooms of the President’s chief fixer and fellow grifter” Michael Cohen this week. Rep. Gutiérrez said that if the President follows through on threats to further obstruct justice or derail the investigation, Americans must be prepared to come to Washington to defend our Democracy and system of government. "We have to be ready to come to Washington, quickly, massively, energetically, in huge numbers when the shoe drops. We have to answer the call to defend the country we all love and we must be united."
March 14, 2018 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) was among a small number of lawmakers invited to speak at today’s rally on the U.S. Capitol grounds in conjunction with the national student walkout to prevent gun violence. The event was organized by Montgomery County (MD) Students for Gun Control and the Congressman was introduced by Emily Dohler Rodas a senior at Albert Einstein High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Congressman has a long history of working on gun violence prevention issues going back to his first days in Congress 25 years ago, as his remarks indicate. But he urged the students to “accomplish what I and others have failed to do” with regards to gun control and banning assault weapons.
February 2, 2018 Press Release
Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Democratic Members of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a joint statement following the release of the “Nunes memo,” a set of misleading talking points drafted by the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in an attempt to discredit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation: “President Trump’s decision to allow the release of Chairman Nunes’ Republican talking points is part of a coordinated propaganda effort to discredit, disable and defeat the Russia investigation. House Republicans are now accomplices to a shocking campaign to obstruct the work of the Special Counsel, to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the Justice Department and the FBI, and to bury the fact that a foreign adversary interfered with our last election..."
December 21, 2017 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) delivered a letter to Ranking Member Jerold Nadler (D-NY), the newly-elected Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, to be prepared to call the Committee back to Washington for immediate investigation and possible impeachment proceedings if the President fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the Christmas recess. The letter congratulates Rep. Nadler on his new position and expresses Rep. Gutiérrez’s concern that the President may use the absence of the Congress in Washington over the holidays to obstruct justice in matters related to Mueller’s investigation into Trump family, Trump campaign, and Trump White House ties to Russian meddling in U.S. elections. In his letter, Rep. Gutiérrez writes: "Before we leave for Christmas, I want to be very clear that as the Ranking Member, you should be prepared to call the Committee back to Washington if and when this President attempts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation by removing the Special Counsel from his post during this holiday season. Every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee should be ready to launch an immediate investigation into obstruction of justice if the President takes this action over the holidays and be prepared to fight to impeach him."
December 13, 2017 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) used his question and answer period during today’s House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to ask about sexual assault allegations against the President of the United States. The Congressman said: "I believe these women. In fact, I would say without hesitation whenever it is a case of his word against her word, I generally give her word a lot more weight.” He continued: "And when the ‘him’ in question is Donald Trump, there really should be no further discussion because, as everybody regardless of their political affiliations or partisanship can clearly see, we have a man in the presidency who has a very difficult relationship with the truth. In this case we have women who were made to feel powerless and insignificant, who at great personal cost and risk, have come forward. And I believe them. I do."
November 15, 2017 Press Release
Today, Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) participated in a press conference at which articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were introduced in the House of Representatives. The articles of impeachment were authored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Gutiérrez has joined as an original co-sponsor along with Rep. Al Green (D-TX) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) who also spoke at the press conference, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY).
November 14, 2017 Press Release
Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) will be among those questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions at an oversight hearing in the House Judiciary Committee this morning. The Congressman said he will demand that the Attorney General – for a change – tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth under oath. In previous testimony before the Senate, the Attorney General has denied meetings with Russian officials that in fact took place, denied participating in meetings about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign that in fact took place, and otherwise failed to answer questions truthfully and completely in both oral and written testimony under oath.
October 31, 2017 Press Release
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver, II and Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) applaud the news today that one of the largest private prison systems in the United States has agreed to their request to support criminal justice reform efforts. Earlier this year, Congressman Cleaver (D-MO) and Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) sent a letter to the CEO's of Core Civic and The Geo Group, INC urging the private prison CEO’s to back national criminal justice reform efforts. In the letter, which can be found here, to CEO Damon Hininger and CEO George Zoley, the Congressmen stated, "Your organizations have often publicly said that you do not support positions that lead to enhanced incarceration, but in supporting a President who is implementing policies designed to increase the populations of individuals in both criminal and immigration detention, you are advocating for policies that deprive people of their liberty in order for you to increase your profits," "We believe this is immoral and unjust,"... Today, Core Civic responded to the letter announcing a stepped-up effort to lobby for government programs and policies to keep former inmates from returning behind bars. Core Civic listed several steps to achieve this goal on their website. Among the concrete steps, the company said it will advocate for "ban the box" policies to keep employers from asking about a job applicant's criminal history until after an initial interview. "Ban the box" policies have been put in place for state workers in 29 states. Nine states have removed the conviction history question from private employer job applications, according to the National Employment Law Project. Of the 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005, 77 percent were re-arrested within five years, and more than half returned to prison, a federal study found. Roughly 70 million Americans have an arrest or a conviction record.