June 02, 2022

Neguse Delivers Remarks During Judiciary Committee Markup on Gun Violence Prevention Measures

Watch his testimony here.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-2), a Vice-Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, spoke in favor of H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, during the House Judiciary Committee markup on gun violence prevention measures. 

Following the tragic mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado last year, Neguse introduced and advocated for several measures to address the gun violence epidemic, including leading a letter to President Biden requesting he issue an executive order banning the importation of assault weapons – a provision that will be established through H.R. 7910. Read Neguse’s letter, here. 

“Our hearts are broken for the children of Uvalde, Texas. They are broken for the people of Buffalo, New York. And they are broken for the countless Americans being murdered each and every day in our country. The level of gun violence in our country is not normal and we cannot stand for it. It is time – long past time – for this Congress to finally act and to start saving lives.” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “From Columbine, to a movie theater in Aurora, to the STEM school in Highlands Ranch and to my community, last year, where ten innocent people were murdered at a grocery store in Boulder. Countless lives were lost. Children, parents, Coloradans and Americans.” 

Neguse continued: “The high schoolers who experienced Columbine are now grown up. And yet, 23 years later, our kids continue to face gunfire in the places where they are supposed to be safe. Columbine was once considered to be the deadliest shooting in United States history at the time. And that as we all know is not the case. From Sandy Hook to Uvalde, far too many communities have been plagued by the scourge of gun violence. As policymakers, we have the opportunity today to do our part in stopping this violence. We have got to do more. We have to act. And today we are doing precisely that.”

The Protecting Our Kids Act, which now heads to the House floor for a vote, will: 

  • Raise the lawful age to purchase a semiautomatic centerfire rifle from 18 to 21 years old;
  • Establish a new federal offense for the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of large-capacity magazines, with exceptions for certain law enforcement, uses and the possession (but not sale) of grandfathered magazines; and allow state and local governments to use the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to compensate individuals who surrender large capacity magazines through a buyback program;
  • Establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchases and authorize seizure of the property and proceeds of those offenses;
  • Establish voluntary best practices for safe firearm storage; award grants for Safe Firearm Storage Assistance Programs; and provide a tax credit for 10% of amounts received from the retail sale of safe storage devices;
  • Establish requirements to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises and create criminal penalties for violation of the requirements;
  • Build on ATF’s regulatory bump stock ban by listing bump stocks under the National Firearms Act (like machine guns), and ban the manufacture, sale, or possession of bump stocks for civilian use; and
  • Build on ATF’s regulatory ban of ghost guns by ensuring that ghost guns are subject to existing federal firearm regulation by amending the definition of “firearm” to include gun kits and partial receivers and changing the definition of “manufacturing firearms” to include assembling firearms using 3D printing.

Background: 

Neguse has made tackling the gun violence epidemic an urgent priority for his office, pushing for measures to promote public safety, keeping kids, families and communities safe from the devastating incidents of gun violence. In April 2022, Neguse unveiled a legislative package to prevent mass shootings, expand worker safety, and increase mental health and trauma support for communities recovering from tragedy. The package – which consists of the STOP Violence Act, Safe Workplaces Act, Help for Healing Communities Act and the Prioritizing Resources for Victims of Firearm Violence Act – enhances security measures and training protocols to reduce the threat of gun violence at schools, grocery stores, movie theaters and other community gathering facilities, learn more here. The Congressman also sponsored the End Gun Violence Act, legislation to prohibit individuals with violent misdemeanors from purchasing guns, and the Secure Background Checks Act, which following a 2019 incident in his state, expands the necessary background check process to the federal level. 

In 2021 and 2022, Neguse and Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), led a group of House Democrats in letters to President Biden requesting that he establish an Interagency Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention. Read more here. The letters also ask that the President appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention to chair the Task Force – ensuring a whole of government approach to tackling the epidemic. 

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