WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Gun control advocates and victims of gun violence testified before lawmakers Thursday.
They’re urging Congress to pass gun reform laws.
After a brief reduction in mass shootings during the pandemic, house Democrats say the recent resurgence of the problem emphasizes a need to pass a slate of new gun control measures.
Republicans insist their proposal won’t solve the larger problem, but Democrats and the White House say they are ready to act.
“America remains as the battle front of guns,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said. “Today, the subcommittee returns to the all too commonplace tragedy that is gun violence.”
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting back in 2018, was among the slate of victims and gun control advocates who testified.
“My daughter will be 14 forever,” Guttenberg said. “Congress must take action to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines which have killed thousands of innocent Americans.”
Across the board, Republicans remain opposed to Democrats’ proposals. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said gun control will not solve the underlying problem, and that the Democrats’ efforts are misguided.
“This is a dangerous path they want to go down,” Jordan said. “They want to disarm law-abiding American citizens by depriving them of their constitutional rights.”
Diana Muller, a retired Tulsa police officer, told Congress more gun control will hurt marginalized or low-income communities the most.
“Common sense is not making more rules, more laws, registrations and fees that make protecting yourself a rich man’s game,” Muller said. “Gun control is steeped in racism.”
President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to ban assault weapons and tighten background checks immediately.
House Democrats already passed a background check bill this year, but it faces an uphill battle with Senate Republicans.