Wednesday, November 8, 2017

CONYERS: After Texas Shooting, Conyers Renews Call For Judiciary Committee To Address Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. – After the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), renewed his call for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate gun violence in America and called for a private Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) briefing to be conducted as an official public hearing with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Ranking Member Conyers delivered the following remarks during today’s Judiciary hearing:

Mr. Chairman, before I discuss the important topic of today’s hearing, I want to raise another issue that we must unfortunately confront with urgency.

On Sunday, a gunman shot and killed 26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  All of us were shocked by this horrific act and express condolences to the victims and families.

We now know that information concerning his court martial for domestic abuse should have been submitted by the Air Force to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  He should have been prevented from purchasing firearms from licensed gun dealers via the Brady background check system.

Yesterday, before this information came to light, I wrote to the Chairman, requesting that the briefing planned for our Members tomorrow afternoon by ATF on the issue of bump stocks be expanded to include the FBI to discuss the background check issues related to Sutherland Springs, and that the briefing be conducted as a formal hearing, open to the public.

Now that we have even more information that there has been a breakdown in the implementation of our background check system, I ask that we include relevant officials from the Department of Defense and the Air Force. 

I believe we should proceed quickly to learn what happened, and the public deserves to hear answers directly. 

Therefore, I reiterate and expand my request concerning tomorrow’s briefing.

Yesterday, Ranking Member Conyers and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) sent a letter, below, to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to request that the Committee’s ATF briefing be conducted as a public hearing, and that the FBI be included to discuss background check issues. 

On November 1st, Conyers  led a letter signed by every Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee to Chairman Bob Goodlatte, urging him to hold hearings on gun violence in America.

At an October 12th markup, Ranking Member Conyers called on the House Judiciary Committee Majority to investigate gun violence in America.

On October 2nd, immediately following the Las Vegas shooting, Ranking Member Conyers and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to renew their call for hearings on these issues.

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