WASHINGTON — Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 7910, the Protect our Kids Act and will soon consider H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act.
Both bills are legislative efforts to address the ongoing problem of mass shootings in America. In the past month, mass shootings claimed dozens of people across the country — including the lives of 10 members of the Buffalo, New York community in a racially-motivated attack as well as a separate mass shooting taking the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
In response to the U.S. House of Representatives taking up gun violence prevention legislation, Congressman Bishop issued the following statement:
“The senseless murders of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 shocked our nation’s conscience. Many Americans, upon hearing thenews of this tragedy, wondered how an 18-year-old could legally purchase a semi-automatic weapon and then walk into an elementary schoolto commit such a horrific act of violence. It makes little sense that an 18-year-old in Texas can legally purchase a rifle like an AR-15 but is prohibited under federal law from buying a handgun from a licensed dealer until he reaches the age of 21.
“I am a gun owner and I believe that the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens who possess guns for hunting, recreation, and self-defense. Many citizens also collect guns as a hobby. Still, there are far too many instances today of firearms falling into the wrong hands. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which I strongly support, is appropriately subject to reasonable, commonsense measures, including reasonable background checks to limit access by those whose mental health or criminal history demonstrates a lack of requisite responsibility. The 2008 United States Supreme Court decision District of Columbia vs. Heller, which held for the first time that the Second Amendment protected individual gun ownership, also said that the Constitution leaves the government with ‘a variety of tools for combating [the problem of gun violence], including some measures regulating handguns.’
“An overwhelming majority of Americans are supportive of commonsense legislation to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of dangerous people. I believe that the Protecting Our Children Act, which the House approved today by a vote of 223 to 204, which included support from Republicans, and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which the House will consider tomorrow, are reasonable, commonsense measures that the Second Amendment allows to combat the problem of gun violence in this country. Among the provisions of the Protecting Our Children Actare:
- “Raising the purchasing age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old;
- “Cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off of our streets;
- “Subjecting ghost gun — guns created without serial numbers — purchases to background check requirements;
- “Strengthening safe storage requirements;
- “Closingthe loophole that allows bump stocks — a modification that turns semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons — and ban them from civilian use;
- “Outlawinghigh-capacity magazines, which increase the number of bullets that can be fired before reloading and are designed for killing en masse; and
- “Requiring an annual report of demographic data of those being determined to be ineligible to purchase guns.
“The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act will keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others by implementinga nationwide extreme risk law and encouraging states to enact their ownextreme risk laws.
“The American people overwhelmingly support measures to protect our cities and communities from the epidemic of gun violence. I believe that the two bills considered by the United States House of Representatives are consistent with the Second Amendment and while they will not end all mass shootings, I do believe that they are important steps forward and will save lives.”