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.