Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)—Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force—led 134 Members of Congress in calling for the establishment of a Select Committee on Gun Violence. This bipartisan committee would be comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans, all tasked with studying the causes of mass shootings, rates of gun violence in large metropolitan issues, the effect of gun violence on public health, and other critical topics.
“For too long, the causes and impacts of gun violence have gone largely unstudied because of legislation Congress passed more than twenty years ago,” said Thompson. “In recent years, our country has endured some of the most horrific mass shootings in our history. Despite tragedies in Newtown, Orlando, and Tucson, Congress has been silent. It has debated no bills, considered no proposals. And Americans continue to die. It has to stop.
“This Select Committee is an important first step to keeping Americans safer. It would be wholly bipartisan and entirely focused on how to stop some of these tragedies. We need to have an honest, frank conversation about gun violence. We need both Republicans and Democrats to come to the table to offer solutions instead of standing by and allowing more innocents to die. We have the opportunity to do something that could save lives, and it is our responsibility to do so.”
The Select Committee on Gun Violence would study and make recommendations to address the following:
- The causes of mass shootings
- Methods to improve background checks on firearm purchases
- Connections between access to firearms and dangerously mentally ill individuals
- Federal penalties for the trafficking and straw-purchasing of firearms
- Loopholes that allow some domestic abusers to access to firearms
- Linkages between firearms and suicide
- The effect of gun violence on public health
- The correlation between state gun violence prevention laws and the incidence of gun violence
- The importance of having reliable and accurate information on gun violence and its toll on our nation
- The implementation of effective gun violence prevention laws in accordance with the Second Amendment to the Constitution
- Rates of gun violence in large metropolitan areas