Tuesday, October 3, 2017

CONYERS: In The Wake Of Vegas Mass Shooting, Top Judiciary & National Resoures Dems Call On Speaker Ryan To Pull Gun Silencer Bill From House Floor

Washington, D.C. – Following the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, that has taken the lives of 58 people and injured more than 500, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter, below, 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.”

The Members continued, “…In active shooter situations, law enforcement must respond quickly to locate the shooter in order to prevent the carnage from continuing.  Silencing or muffling the sound of gun shots would make this more difficult, preventing quick response, such as the brave actions of law enforcement to quickly locate and take action against the shooter last night and those of the police officers that located and took down the man who shot and killed five officers in Dallas last year.  This situation illustrates the danger posed by the proliferation of silencers, particularly when the regulation of them is proposed to be weakened substantially – even allowing them to be sold with no checks whatsoever in some circumstances. ”

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Conyers and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) also sent a letter, below, to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to renew their call for hearings on these issues.

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