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tv   House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Gun Violence Prevention Part 1  CSPAN  February 6, 2019 9:04pm-1:32am EST

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migrant families. at 2:00, the house ways and means committee meets to consider president and vice presidents disclosing their tax returns. next, law enforcement advocates and second amendment supporters testify in a judiciary hearing on gun violence prevention. speakers involved a survivor of last year's high school shooting in parkland, florida. >> the judiciary committee will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare recess of the committee at any time. we welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on preventing gun violence, a call to action. i will now recognize myself for an opening statement. the epidemic of gun violence in this country is a national crisis and an international
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embarrassment. last -- or in 2017 nearly 40,000 americans lost their lives because of guns. in fact, every day in america on average 34 people are murdered with a firearm. and more than 183 people are injured in an attack. but while no other country in the industrialized world would tolerate such statistics, in fact gun deaths in most countries barely crack triple digits annually -- in the united states it's accepted as a grim reality. by comparison, in 2011, for example, the united kingdom had 146 deaths due to gun violence. denmark 71. portugal, 142. japan, 30. last year in the united states, almost 40,000. in 2016 study in the american journal of medicine found that compared to 22 other high income countries the gun related murder
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rate in the united states was 25 times higher. the common factor in all other countries is that they have stronger gun laws. our country, however is awash in guns. and we have the shameful death toll to show for it. despite the obvious need to address the scourge of gun violence, congress for too long has done virtually nothing. but now we begin a new chapter. today we will hear from a broad array of witnesses representing diverse perspectives on the issue of gun violence. they will help educate us on the scope of the problem and he will inform our consideration of various legislative options so we may at last take real action to address the crisis. as we conduct the hearing today we are reminded one year ago , next week 17 students and staff were shot to death and 17 others were injured at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. we have with us fred guttenberg,
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the father of one of the students killed at parkland high school. i think we have others with us from parkland here today too. this horrible incident was one in an ever-increasing series of shootings that shocked the nation in recent years. but mass shootings are one way in which the problem of gun violence is manifested. every day guns are used in suicides, domestic violence incidents gang violence and so , many other tragedies. gun violence impacts all our communities. rural, urban and suburban. and no place is immune from its reach including our homes, , streets, schools. even our places of worship. clearly we must change our approach to combatting gun violence. as challenging as this problem is, however, we do have the ability to address it and to make our citizens safer. what we have lacked in recent years is the political will. we should remember that the second amendment does not prevent the government from enacting legislation to prevent gun violence.
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as even justice scalia acknowledged in his 2008 opinion in district of columbia versus heller, an opinion that upheld an individual's right to possess a firearm, in his opinion for the court he wrote like moet -- like most rights the rights , secured by the adequately amendment is not unlimited, unquote. while congress has done almost nothing in recent yeerps to address gun violence, citizens across the country have been organizing and demanding action. as a result, several states have strengthened gun laws. i'm disappointed that in his lengthy state of the union address last night president trump did not see fit even to mention the need to protect our citizens against gun violence. but it is evident from the energy and crowd in this room as well as the millions of people across the country fighting for sensible gun safety laws that the public is demanding national legislation too. i am particularly heartened by the mobilization of so many students and young people from diverse backgrounds and every part of our nation who are now
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at the forefront of the effort. joining mothers and fathers in calling on us to do more to create a future in which children do not fear being shot in school or on the streets. we have also seen many in our medical community adding their voices to the movement. shocked at how often they must treat gunshot victims, devastated by the need to console families of those who lost lives to gun violence and stunned by congress's failure to address this problem. it's now time for congress to begin answering these demands. and that is why we are holding this hearing today. we have a large panel of witnesses. and we wish we could have included more people who wanted to testify, including current members of congress who have worked very hard on this issue in recent years. today, however, it's just the beginning of our discussion of the issues and we hope to hear from many others as the committee continues work on in important topic. i want to note we have with us
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in the audience several in the audience several survivors of gun violence as well as family members of those who is lives have been lost. i mentioned one such person. we thank you for your courage and attending today. congress and mike thompson, chairman of the house violence prevention task force is here as well. he has worked tirelessly to bring attention to this issue. and is the author of hr-8, the bipartisan background check act which now has 229 cosponsors. an absolute majority of the house. for too long congress has ignored the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country. after a particularly heinous mass shooting, we pause for a moment of silence to pray for the victims. but we don't need another moment of silence. we don't need more thoughts and prayers. we need a moment of action. today's hearing is the first step towards that goal. i look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses. i now recognize the distinguished ranking member of the full committee, the
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gentleman from georgia, mr. collins for his opening statement. thank you, mr. chairman and -- >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for all who have and ied today and for holding this hearing on gun violence in america. any form of violence with or without the use of a firearm is a reason for concern and it's our job to offer real solutions for families attacked by criminal violence. it's good and right to reflect on the victims and their stories. what do their experiences have in common and how can lawmakers respond to the factors fueling violent crime? america witnessed too many events of mass violence in recent years yet the common , factors here aren't related to background checks for private sales. thomas reed, a former speaker of the house said one of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils of this world are to be cured by legislation. i'll take it a step further. today i think is the greatest cruelty in the world is to tell people you will help them in their situation with legislation and then try to pass off legislation that would do nothing to fix the problems that you claim to fix.
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in legal terms, that's called fraud. when we understand what is going on, evidence has shown as was mentioned earlier i appreciate , the efforts of those who want a majority and have signed on. but similar gun control measures stopped columbine or charleston or many other tragedies. we are far too comfortable talking about charging without worrying the lesson. if we want to adjust the violence, we have to adjust the human factors driving it. this means acknowledging attempts to criminalize the second amendment do nothing to address the complex factors that turn attention to the solutions that would. one of my first acts in congress was to ask president obama why federal firearm prosecutions fell 35% under his administration while widespread violence continued to affect american communities.
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chicago for example prosecuted , only 25 federal firearm crimes in 2011 and then saw 506 murders in 2012. it seems clear that if we're going to be in the business of writing new laws to prevent violence we should at minimum commit to enforcing the laws we already have. again, i my colleagues across
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referred my colleagues across the aisle to look at cities and schools and respond in a meaningful way. we best honor victims by looking ahead. neither hr eight nor any proposed gun control measures would have prevented a single mass shooting in the past 20 years. when we point to stories of tragedy without learning we exploit the victims. in 1990 nine, columbine destroyed families in colorado. in the weeks before, we knew that the shooters were psychopaths and had visually given threats but nothing was done. law enforcement knew. they failed to intercede. virginia tech another issue , where the murderer had been involuntarily committed to outpatient, but this was not uploaded. if it had been he wouldn't have been able to purchase the fiern. -- to purchase the firearm. a month later in the navy yard, a man heard voices in his head a decade before the massacre he was arrested for shooting out
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the tires of a man's vehicle within not prosecuted process a year ago this month. students in parkland fell victim to a man who was recommended for counseling. according to cnn law enforcement received 45 calls about the shooter or his family. among the calls was an anonymous threatened tos attack the collar and another call to the frb tip line. wasificant information never followed up and law enforcement took no action. if we let the tragedies teach us we need to focus on mental health and missed opportunities while we fail to understand all those suffering from mental health violence he can increase public safety improving our protocols to mental health and compassion and care for mental health but we have the opportunity to help law enforcement better respond. it is my hope that we will begin to look at this problem with a larger and more honest approach. the problems of the the bill hr 8 appear numerous and if i was here many of you in the audience and many of the witnesses my question would be to the sponsor and cosponsor why they would give you a bill written and guts itself internally within the bill and will not work? these are the things that do affect mental health and safety these are the areas we need to work on. these are the things that we can continue to find common ground
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at the same time not offering a palliative exercise saying here is something that makes you feel better but not help new the end. with that, mr. chairman i have a , unanimous consent request that is the direct statement for the record by republican whip steve skill easy. -- steve scalise. i have to say mr. chairman. i'm concerned that mr. scalise who everyone knows room was publicly involved in a shooting last year was -- we offered -- he wanted to come and many times this committee offered members the ability to testify and be a part and then as we have done in the past leave. mr. scalise was denied that opportunity. i think that is wrong. him having to put this into the record is something that should be addressed. it goes to the hearing we are looking at right now. we are making it sound good but in the end for those coming looking for answers don't find it in hra. with that i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. without objection the document will be entered into the record. i will note for the record the presence of congresswoman robyn kelly of chicago who has been a champion of gunman violence legislation.
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and i want to note that the reason that mr. scalise -- we didn't have a separate panel for members is we had too many members not just mr. scalise and mr. thompson, miss kelly and quite a few others. they would have testify and we decided -- we decided, it's a debatable decision -- we decided that rather than hear from a lot of our colleagues who will have other opportunities to address this issue in congress we would rather hear from the witnesses. >> mr. chairman i understand the uniqueness of mr. scalise's testimony being denied this voice is tragic for all ending -- for all who attended. especially from his price a laurm and voting on on working with the issue because he probably disagrees with the majority shouldn't have been a reason to keep him occupant. he wasn't denied because he disagrees the majority members decided we have we had to have a hard and fast rule otherwise weld have been here all day with members.
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that was the decision. i look forward to hearing from -- well, so i'll now introduce today's witnesses. >> our first witness is aalayah eastmond, a senior at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. she has advocated on behalf of young people and people of color experiencing gun violence. she has also testified before the u.s. senate and has participated in a number of forums on the subject. savannah lindquist is a student at old dominion university in norfolk, virginia studying no signs. she serves on the executive board of students for liberty and has publicly advocated for gun rights. she has also active in her local church and holds leadership positions in student organizations at old dominion university. diane latiker is the president and founder of kids off the block. in she opened up her chicago 2003, home to youth who felt threatened by gun violence.
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she sold her television to purchase computers to provide the young people educational programs. people in her neighborhood fondly refer to her as ms. diane. 2011 cnn named her as a top 10 hero of the year. dr. joseph sakran is an assistant professor of surgery , associate chief of the division of acute care surgery and director of emergency general surgery at the johns hopkins hospital. he spends the majority of his time taking care of injured patients performing elective and , general surgery. he completed undergraduate degree at george mason university. trained as a medic and firefighter at the city of fairfax fire and rescue department and received his medical degree from the medical school for international health in israel. major sabrina tapp-harper, commands the domestic violence
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unit of the baltimore city sheriff's office. she previously served for 26 years with the baltimore police department, where she attained the rank of major. at the baltimore police department major tapp-harper served a variety of roles from beat cop to commander she holds a batch slors of science degree in criminal justice. and a master of science degree in applied behavioral science from johns hopkins university. it's now my pleasure to recognize the gentle lady from texas, ms. jackson lee to introduce her constituent, chief art acevedo. >> mr. chairman, thank you. and to the ranking member, thank you both for this hearing. and to the witnesses. it's my pleasure and privilege to introduce the chief of police of the city of houston who began serving and was sworn in on november 30th, 2016. chief acevedo leaves one of the major police departments of the nation. 5,200 sworn law enforcement officers. 1200 civilian support personnel
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with an annual general budget of $825 million, in the fourth soon to be third largest city in the nation. the value of chief acevedo's policing is that he understands that it is police and community, police and people. he believes in good communication, that it's vital for successful community. and i can assure you and attest to the fact that chief acevedo is not a desk chief. he steadily works to strengthen and bond, encourage the bond between the community and its police department, whether or not it's a local parade, whether or not it's a barbecue, whether or not it's a civic meeting. on behalf of the mayor turner he shows the face of policing. and although he has been a longstanding proponent of community policing, he has changed that terminology to relationships.
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and he believes in relational and he believes in relational policing, which is a major part as well of the major chief's position. he wants to meet and come in contact with each citizen. that's one of the reasons why devastating cases are solved, because citizens talk to the chief. he is the first hispanic to lead the hpd. he brings a unique understanding to the concerns of the city of houston. he was born in cuba. he was 4 years old when he came to the united states. grew up in california, attended college there, began his law enforcement career in the field as a field patrol officer in east los angeles with the california highway patrol. he rose through the ranks, one of the best forms of ascending to chief is to know your men and women. and he has recently, after -- right before houston was the chief of police in austin. we are delighted he is now the president of the major cities chiefs. he is involved with the international association of chiefs of police. he is married. and is the father of three children. i am very pleased to say that
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even as we have suffered tragedies and shootings in our community, the chief has been a stand up chief and confronted the issues and said to the community we are with you. i do want to offer to him to the officers that were shot last week a wish for speedy recovery. having visited them this past we ekend, that is our collective wish of in committee. mr. chairman, i conclude by welcoming chief acevedo and acknowledging one of his extended constituents, miss rhonda hart is here. the mother of, sadly, a young lady, her very special daughter who was shot and killed in the santa fe shooting in houston, texas. chief acevedo rushed to that scene even though it was outside the jurisdiction of houston. he rushed to be of help. that's the kind of chief chief acevedo is. thank you very much.
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mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much. i thank the gentle lady. continue with our last couple of introductions. dr. joyce lee malcom is the patrick henry professor of constitutional law and the second amendment at george mason university's antonin scalia law school. dr. malcom holds a bachelors degree from barnard technology in my district and a masters of arts and doctorate from brandeis university. robyn thomas is the executive director of gifford as law center. holds a bachelors degree from duke university and a juris doctor degree from the university of miami school of law. we welcome our distinguished witnesses and thank them for participating in today's hearing. if you would please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. raise your right hands. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge information and belief?
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thank you. let the record show the witnesses answered affirmative. >> mr. chairman. point of parliamentary inquiry? on the end. >> yes, sir. >> we had a conversation on the floor last week i noted you left out so help me god. >> sorry. you will me to repeat -- -- you want me to repeat >> i'd love that. >> let me repeat this oath. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony about to give is stru and correct to the best of your knowledge information and belief, so help you god? thank you. let the record show the witnesses answered affirmative. thank you and please be seated. please note that each of your written statements will be entered into the record in its entirety. accordingly, i ask you summarize your testimony in five minutes. to help you stay within the time there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow you have one
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minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns red it signals your five minutes have expired. ms. eastmond, you may begin. >> chairman nadler, ranking member collins and other members of the committee thank you for , the opportunity to be here to share my experience and perspectives on gun violence in america. i a senior at marjory stoneman am douglas high school in parkland. while it's an honor to be here today i'm only here because of horrific events compelling me to be here. next thursday marks a year from the day that 17 of my fellow classmates and educators were shot and killed. 17 more injured, many like me were the fortunate enough to walk away with our lives. but we will never be free from the terror. some will carry visible scars. but all of us were scarred emotionally for the rest of our lives. i was in my fourth period holocaust history class and we were presenting our projects on hate groups. i could never have imagined my group partner would have saved my live in moments to come after our presentations we began to hear loud pops. when the gunman shot into our
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classroom, nicholas was in front of me. the gunman's bullets killed him and helena ramsey. as nicholas fell, i hid -- i matched his movement and hid under his lifeless body as bullets riddled my classmates. i thought i was going to die. i baked god to make it fast. when the shooter moved to another classroom i rolled nicolas off me and placed his head on his arm so it wouldn't touch the cold ground. my classmates put me behind a filing cabinet where i called my mom and dad to say my last goodbyes. i told them how much i loved them and my brothers. i will never forget that day, what i saw what i did, what , happened to my classmates. i will never forget nicolas , who in death protected me. he saved my life. the effect of the shooting did not end february 14th. days later, the stress from the shooting took such a toll on my mother's body that she experienced a miscarriage. gun violence and thousands of lives every year. it is epidemic that extends well
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beyond high profile shootings. my family knew this before parkland. 15 years ago in brooklyn, new york, my uncle patrick was shot and killed. he was just 18 years old with his whole life ahead of him. i ask you give my generation the chance he never had. minority communities bear the heaviest burden of gunman violence. we know this as a fact. a new report showed the life expectancy for african-americans has been reduced by four years on average because of gun violence. but this report didn't show me anything i didn't already know. gun violence is the every day occurrence and vast majority of affected communities are minority. we must stop this supply of crime guns and must ensure there is comprehensive criminal justice reform to address the structural inequality in the system. i'm here to tell you a simple truth. gun violence is such an enemg -- such an epidemic anyone , anywhere at any time can be affected. black, poor, white or
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young or old. all americans are at risk this is a side of america that none of us can or should take pride in. since that horrific day my classmates and i have been working tirelessly to support in support of sensible gun laws. i got involved with brady campaign's team enough. young people dedicated to strengthening gun laws and engaging communities impacted by gun violence. i'm one of the hundreds of thousands of students that came out at the march for our lives demanding change. our stories and voices must be heard on the important issue facing our generation. we are the generation that will end gun violence. i implore you to pass legislation that will make us safer. today in america anyone can go on the internet answer an ad or go to a gun show and buy a gun with no background check required. this makes absolutely no sense. i urge you to expand brady background checks by voting for hr 8 requires check for virtually any gun transaction .
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the protection pan lawful commerce in arms act also known as placa was passed by congress 15 years ago. no other industry has this protection from lawsuits. and it is time that congress repeal this outrageous law. extreme risk laws allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from people in remoa danger to themselves or us. congress should act with more laws. assault weapon as high capacity ammunition magazines belong on the battlefield, not in our communities. my classmates and i have seen firsthand how unique these weapons are. congress should immediately reinstitute the assault weapons ban. congress should close the gun show loop hole. the shooter killing nine people in the south carolina church shooting was able to buy a gun because his background check wasn't completed in three days. most federal checks take minutes. some longer but law enforcement needs more time to complete those checks. i also urge you to address the concerns of our black and brown communities who are disproportionally affected by gun violence. rather than listen to special interests i ask you to lesson
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listen to the nation's young female and the overwhelming majorities who have had enough. we have had enough of gun violence in our schools, in our worship places night clubs and restaurants and , streets and communities. enough. we have all had enough. i hope you have had enough too and use the power that the people have vested in you to do what is right. our lives depend on you. our lives are in your hands. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. let me just say new i appreciate the passion and energy of the people here. but i must ask you that you refrain from making noise or otherwise disrupting the proceedings on either side. our witnesses and all the
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members of the committee on whichever side deserve that. thank you. miss lindquist. >> my name is savannah and i'm a 24-year-old college student. i'm also a daughter, a niece and a friend. there is part of my identity however that i never expected to however that i never expected to have. i am a sexual assault survivor. in the fall of 2016i was living my dream. i had just begun my senior year of college. i was at my dream school with my dream major i loved my job and , was months away from graduating college. i was so excited especially as a first generation college student. what started out as any normal day ended up becoming a nightmare. that night i was sexually assaulted. i will spare you the details, but it was the worst thing that's ever happened to me. i pray that none of you ever go through what i did. but i do know that this sort of thing seems like it can never happen to you.
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detectives benson and stabler didn't swoop in to save me that night like they do on law and order sv you. -- svu. instead i was reshattered replaying the events of that night over and over. due to the trauma i dropped out of my dream school and moved back home to virginia. it was the hardest decision i've ever had to make, but i knew in my heart it was what i had to do. i shut myself away from everyone and spent time hiding in my childhood bedroom. i gained 100 pounds and my hair even began to fall out due to stress. i am a gun owner. and i was one at the time. i even began safety training and
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target practice when i was 10 years old. but because of so-called common sense gun control laws, i was left defenseless that night. in theory, yes, i could have broken the law and brought my firearm to college with me anyways, but i knew that that wasn't the right thing to do. i obeyed the law as a responsible gun owner, and it ended in me being raped. i am just one of countless examples of gun control benefits assailants and making victims like myself sitting ducks. i am not telling me about -- telling you about my sexual assault to make you feel bad. i do not want your sympathy. what i do want however is for you to at least consider stories like mine when you decide to advocate for laws that create additional physical and financial barriers to the right to self-defense. i could come up here and recite the second amendment as could i recite statistics all day long. i could scream about how since 1950, 97.8% of mass shootings occurred in gun free zones. but in this debate, few care
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about the statistics. it's about emotion. but that emotion is understandable. there are things in this world worth being angry about. acts of pure evil and gross injustices of all kinds seem to surround us. and there is no doubt we hurt as a nation. but in the midst of our emotions, no matter how valid they are, we have to remember and come back to the facts. and the facts say this. hr 8 has the potential to make responsible law-abiding gun owners suddenly criminals in emergency situations that would thankfully end up as false alarms or when transferring a fire to a beloved family members like a stepchild, and with all of this hr 8 wouldn't have stopped a single mass shooting in modern history. requiring universal background checks adds yet another financial barrier for the right to self-defense even though it's already a pricey thing to exercise second amendment rights. and low income individuals are at a higher risk of being the victim of violent crime. an analysis released by the university of pittsburgh showed lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth of all gun crimes.
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and finally three separate 2018 studies found zero evidence that universal background checks prevent gun death. i want to show that you there are real people with real stories who are being allowed to legally have the firearm could have saved them. gun owners are a diverse group. no, not all republicans and no, we are not all in the nra. i am neither. i am a college student willing to bare her soul to the world if it means people think twice before enacting laws that restrict the right to a reliable means of self-defense. i once heard that when you are raped you are split in two, but , this allows you to come back twice as strong. i couldn't agree more. i refuse to live in fear. yes, i am a rape survivor. but the 9 millimeter i carry on my hip allows to stand tall, stay strong and confidently say never again. but more than anything, i want my never again to be a catalyst for other women's never going to happen. thank you for your time. >> thank you. ms. latiker.
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>> good morning, chairman net letter, -- chairman nadler, ranking member collins, members of the judiciary committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify. my name is diane latiker. i'm the founding executive director of kids off the block, a community-based anti-violence and social justice advocacy organization founded in 2003. located on the far southside of chicago known pass the rosalind community in the second district of illinois, represented by the honorable congresswoman robyn kelly. i want to thank congresswoman robyn kelly for arranging this opportunity. kids off the block was started in my home to provide a safe haven from the prey of gang recruitment and gun violence that youth and young adults were facing and continue to face every day when doing ordinary things in life such as going to school. since founding k.o.b., we have engaged over 3000 children,
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youth, and young adults in programs largely funded out of our pockets of -- or from generous donors and with continued sadness across the street from my home we have built a memory tribute to youth killed by violence. there are almost 800 stones currently and we are over 400 behind. and there is no outrage. the promises of lives lost in chicago to gun violence and to families who will never recover. no matter how hard i work, more stones will be added until congress acts. i am here today to urge congress to pass immediately meaningful gun reform legislation that i believe will begin to minimize how legally purchased guns are used illegally. clothes on behalf of the children youth and family and , kids off the block, we recommend the following. one, close loop hole that is -- that allow purchases of guns without a background check.
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and reselling of legally purchased guns to underage individuals. two, strengthen federal penalties against gun trafficking and straw purchases. the current patchwork of state laws allows guns to flow from adjacent states with relaxed gun laws into cities and states with tight gun laws. and three, federal background checks on all gun purchases, including ammunition and sharing of guns and ammunition purchases through a national database. quite simply, no matter how many people k.o.b. or other organizations reach, we will not be able to put an end to gun violence in our country without congress passing meaningful legislation that keeps guns out of the wrong hands. on a personal note, and to conclude my testimony, for the past 15 years i have dedicated my life to taking the power of the gun out of the hands of chicago's most vulnerable youth.
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i strive to reduce the traumatic effects of gun violence with the most powerful feeling i know, which is hope. i have accomplished this by providing a safe space in my own home to young people aged 10 to 24. opening my door to prevent hundreds of children i serve each year from being victimized by violence in an environment where the odds are already against them is the least i can do to show them that their community cares. that's all i ask of you. to just care. thank you, and i lack forward to -- look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. dr. sakran. >> chairman nadler, ranking member collins and other members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today to share my experience and perspectives on firearm related injury and death in america. i'm not testifying on behalf of
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johns hopkins but rather in my role as a trauma surgeon at johns hopkins hospital, a survivor of gun violence and a board member of the brady campaign. i was born and raised in fairfax, virginia, just a stone's throw away from here. as the son of immigrants, my family was living out the american dream. in a single instant, our lives changed. a fight broke out not far from my high school. and someone pulled out a gun and shot indiscriminately. one moment i was a carefree 17-year-old senior and the next collateral damage as a .38 caliber ripped through my throat and into my shoulder. i spent the next month fighting for my life. make no mistake about it. i'm here today because of the medical professional treating me. the second chance inspired me to become a trauma surgeon and gives other the second chance. as a trauma surgeon, i and my colleagues are uniquely positioned to understand and address this issue. every day we are the ones on the
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front line caring for patients who suffer injuries from bullets. we are the ones trying to stop bleeding from pulverized tissue and torn flesh. we are the ones telling families that their loved ones aren't come home. we try to deliver data driven solutions with inadequate research funding. and we understand all too often that the best medical treatment from this crisis is often prevention. for many years a debate over how we prevent firearm related injury and death was one that members of my profession were reluctant to broach. that time has come to an end. some of us have been told that we should stay in our lane. well, this is our lane. and doing nothing is not an option. and if we do nothing and maintain the status quo, one million americans will be shot in the next decade. let me be clear. firearm related injury and death in america is not only a disease, it's a true public health crisis of the united states. every day 109 people die from gun violence and over 240 people suffer injuries from bullet wounlds. the mass shootings that we --
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that we have all heard about have become, you know, too common and unfortunately capture less than 2% of the entire epidemic we face as a nation. every day in cities like baltimore, philadelphia, chicago, we have young black men that are killed. and their stories often go untold. we need to recognize this is a multifacetted health problem requiring a diverse group of stake holders including but not limited to health care professionals, public health leaders, survivors, manufacturers, academia, gun owners, and yes, the young people. we must develop a broad multidisciplinary, multi- strategy system approach supported by good science and research. we have the best practices we can learn from. look at motor vehicle crashes in the 20th century. we initially focused on drivers. we then broadened that approach from who caused the crash to factors that led to death and injury. and we invested in research. we developed solutions like seatbelts and air bags and safer
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roads. and since then we have seen fatalities per mile driven fall by 85%. this is the essence of the public health approach. a multisector, research-informed evidence-based program and policies. so in response we developed safer cars and roads, and we saved lives. the american surgeon firearms team a group of leaders firearm owners recently published a statement describing the public health approach. further underlying that as americans we have more in common than we have that divides us. there are ways to come together that prevent firearm related injuries. the congressmen introduced the hr 8 on the anniversary of former congresswoman gabby giffords' near fatal injury. the bill expands brady background checks to cover all private firearm sales including those at gun shows or over the internet. since the brady law was implemented in 1994, it has blocked more than 3 million unlawful purchases.
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other common sense solution that decrease injury and death include firearm injury prevention and research extreme , risk protection orders, education on safe storage to end family fire, investing in safe technology, expanding access to behavioral health services and improving victim service. we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to comprehensively address gun violence as the true public health crisis it is. this is not a democrat versus a republican issue. it's a uniquely american issue, and it's uniquely in each of your hands to help fix it. the america i'm fighting for is one where parents no longer have to fear the phone call that my parents received that the -- call that my parents received, that the parkland parents received, and literally hundreds of others in communities across this country are receiving every day. as a trauma surgeon, i have to look into the eyes of the parents, and it is nothing less than heart breaking. the medical community implores you, the time for action is now. there is no one solution to the complex health problem which is why we must come together as a
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country to build consensus, and support, and develop our research informed, data driven approach so that we can help you as our policy makers ensure the public safety of americans all across this great nation. thank you. >> thank you. major tapp-harper. >> thank you. chairman nadler and members of the house judiciary committee for inviting me here to testify today. >> [indiscernible] >> my name is sabrina tapp-harper. and i'm the commander of the domestic violence unit of the baltimore city sheriff's office in baltimore, maryland. i'm here today to talk about the dangers that gun laws pose on our community, specifically for women and families who are victims of domestic violence. the data is clear, victims of domestic violence are at an increased risk of gun violence in this country. in the united states, women are
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11 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in comparable countries. much of this fatal violence against women is committed by intimate partners. according to the fbi, almost half of the murders of women were committed by current or former husbands or boyfriends. 10 times as many as by a male stranger. according to the american journal of public health, the presence of a firearm in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of a homicide for a woman by 500%. these numbers miss many of the murders committed by ex-boyfriends who are seldom accurately categorized and who may account for another 300 to 400 of the 1000 intimate murders each year. the violence policy center found that a gun was a weapon used in
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over half of the murders in which the weapon was known. dr. jacqueline campbell's research has shone that gun access by a batterer is the single best predictor of whether a woman will be killed by him. increasing the risk of her murder by more than five fold. abusers also use guns to terrorize victims. while commanding the domestic violence unit of the baltimore city sheriff's office, one petitioner directed my deputies to an assault rifle that had been buried in the ground for over 10 years and was still fully operable when recovered. the respondent in this particular case was also federally prohibited from owning firearms. domestic abusers hide weapons weapons in any place they can. i know of deputies directed by petitioners who have recovered
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hidden firearms in washing machines and air conditioning units as well. in a study of over 400 women in domestic violence shelters in california, two-thirds of the women who reported a firearm in their home said their intimate partner used the gun against them with over 70% threatening to shoot or kill her, 5% actually shooting at her. that same study found that only one in 20 abused women who had access to a gun reported ever having used it in self-defense against her abuser. another study found that among california hand gun purchasers, women who had purchased guns had a 50% increased risk of homicide, all of which could be attributed to homicide by an intimate partner having access
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-- intimate partner. having access to a gun did not make these women safer. it is worth noting that mass shootings, those shootings involving the death of four or more people, disproportionately affect women. in an analysis of such shootings conducted by the research arm of every town for gun safety, in at least 54% of mass shootings, the shooter murdered or injured a current or former partner or family member, and most of these shootings took place in the homes. background checks and laws restricting domestic abusers from opening weapons appear to be effective. another analysis of every town found that states with stronger gun laws, including states that require background checks on every gun sale, reported lower rates of intimate partner gun homicides of women than states with weaker gun laws. there's also evidence that state laws to strengthen firearm
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prohibitions against domestic abusers reduced intimate partner homicides. law enforcement officers in this country are most often tragically killed in traffic-related incidents and domestic related matters. greater love has no man than this that a man who lays down his life for others. those of us who do this work each day need strong laws that restrict firearm access to the most dangerous based on the best available evidence and strong enforcement of existing laws. this would include policies like closing loopholes that exempt private gun sales in gun shows from background checks, ensure that all states have laws restricting possession and gun sales to those subject to domestic violence restraining orders and domestic violence misdemeanors, ensuring that
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states with such laws are removing firearms when allowed, and strictly enforcing the law, and amending federal laws to include dating partners who research indicates perpetrate a substantial portion of intimate partner homicide of women. we all have a responsibility to act on the facts supported by research data to establish legal perimeterers to keep us all safe. thank you for inviting me here today to share my views on this critically important public safety issue. i am happy to answer any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you. >> chief acevedo. >> good morning, chairman nadler, ranking member collins and distinguished members of congress, and especially sheila jackson lee, who has not only been a champion and a lion on this issue for a long time but is my congresswoman. i live in her district. >> you ought to take her everywhere for your introduction
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at this point. thank you. >> i will try that. obviously congresswoman garcia whom we've worked with so many years at the state level and mr. korea and others we have worked with over the years. i speak today to all of you both as a police chief of houston and president of the major city chiefs association representing the largest police departments in the nation. where gun violence truly takes its greatest toll. i'm honored to speak for the u.s. conference of mayors and attach their membership resolution which was submitted yesterday. mayors and chiefs have formed an unprecedented alliance with others to address gun violence in our nation. on june 8 i had the privilege to join the u.s. conference of mayors in boston along with mayor sylvester turner of houston and the president of the u.s. conference of mayors, president steven benjamin of columbia, south carolina, where they unanimously adopted our position paper on gun violence and reducing gun violence.
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i would like to introduce laura waxman, who is here representing the nation's mayors. laura, if you can wave. it's important that to realize that firearms policy is not a zero sum proposition. we all urge that you let common sense guide you as you pursue the development of public policies that balance the long-adopted second amendment rights of our fellow americans with the need to combat the scourge of daily gun violence throughout our nation. this gun violence is arguably one of the greatest public health epidemics facing the nation. -- facing the nation everyone in this room loves and serves. chiefs of police and sheriffs join the victims in asking you to act now to prevent one more death and bloodshed. we implore you to consider multiple steps and measures to curb the ongoing threat of gun violence. the universal background check , expanded mental health provisions, red flag legislation will work. the time is now to process the -- we change and get rid of the
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gaps and loopholes and defeat the purpose for which they were intended. next week we invited members of congress, congresswoman sheila jackson lee and others will be joining the major city chiefs and the sheriffs here in washington to have a roundtable on this issue, and if you have not been invited, i would like to extend that invitation to all members here today. we hope again that as this debate continues we realize that doing nothing is not acceptable. and while we focus and the media feet focuses -- media focuses on the multitudes of almost regular mass shootings in our country that the media covers for every one of those, sons and daughters, our children, our family members, our police officers, are being shot, killed and maimed, and i will urge congress to do something this
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term. it is our time to make a difference because our streets, our neighborhoods, are truly drowning in the blood of our victims and in the tears of their loved ones. and at this moment in time, i would like to tell the people from parkland, santa fe and beyond the march for our lives, , that the major city chiefs is proud to stand with you. the future belongs to you, and we are here to help you secure it. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, chief. professor malcolm. >> thank you very much for inviting me to testify here before the committee. all of us are here today with the same goal, we want to increase public safety, we want to protect the lives of the citizens of our country. the thing that divides us is how we feel that we can best achieve that aim. the supreme court has explained in two landmark cases the framers of the second amendment
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were clear about the solution to public safety. they bequeathed to us as individuals the right to keep and bear those guns in common use for self-defense and other lawful purposes. in other words, we are to have the means to protect ourselves, and i should say about those two cases, one the heller case in washington and the mcdonald case in chicago, that the petitioners were people who really needed to protect themselves. one of the ones in the heller case was a woman named shelly parker who lived in washington where there was a lot of drug dealing going on. she reported this several times to the police, and the drug dealers said they knew who she was, and they were going to get her. in chicago, otis mcdonald was an african-american in his 70's. his apartment had been invaded several times, and he needed something to protect himself. so these cases were brought by people who really needed to protect themselves.
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now there's some people that argue that this right of the second amendment is outdated. we have police to protect us and go on to claim that permitting law abiding citizens to have firearms to protect themselves would make all of us less safe. do we still need to protect ourselves? well first, however responsible the police are, they cannot protect all of us all of the time. and in fact, a landmark case here in washington, we found out that they had no responsibility to protect any individual. there was a case brought by three women who were assaulted in their townhouse in capital hill. they called 911 repeatedly for half an hour. nobody ever came. they sued the police and washington, and the court dismissed their case saying that there was a duty to provide public service to the public at large, but absent a special relationship between the police
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and an individual, no specific legal duty exists. is short the police have no -- in short the police have no legal duty to protect any one of us. i should say about the horrible parkland massacre, that the school in parkland has now decided after a study that they are going to allow the teachers to be armed. on the hands of guns being valuable to protect themselves, the fbi does not record self-defense. so there there have been national surveys in an effort to try to find out how many people have actually used a gun in self-defense and the national surveys which vary a lot have found between 700,000 and 3.6 million defensive uses of a gun annually. normally all the person defending himself has to do is brandish the gun. they almost never need to use it. it's just a way of showing that they can protect themselves during an attack.
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will the private transfers of weapons on the fbi instant background check prevent gun violence? no they will not. on the other hand, tactics to make it difficult for law abiding americans to keep and carry weapons in common use for their self-defense is a serious infringement of their constitutional right and rather than improving public safety to make the public more vulnerable to those who would seek to harm them, including the battered women who are in danger, including students who are in a school where no one is protecting them. to conclude, justice scalia in writing for the majority and the case of district of columbia versus heller, reminded us the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices of the table. >> mr. chairman, it's me.
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mr. chairman, it's just important, it's important before we go on, i'm not -- on important pieces of information on declarations that are factually wrong, it's important to point them out. the broward county school board, the stoneman douglas teachers did not conclude that the response to what happened in their school is arming teachers. it's important that we get those facts straight. prof. malcolm: there was a commission, if i could be allowed to respond. >> briefly, yes. prof. malcolm: a commission that was set up by the school and it decided that that was the best -- >> that's also incorrect. >> we'll look forward to the exchange. we'll deal with this in the question period. thank you. miss thomas? ms. thomas: thank you, chairman nadler, ranking member collins and members of the committee for the opportunity to testify here today. my name is robyn thomas the executive director of the giffords law center to prevent gun violence.
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givefords law center was formed more than 25 years ago after a mass shooting at a san francisco law firm and renamed for congresswoman gabby giffords after joining forces in 2016 with the organization she co-founded with her husband captain mark kelly. i've been the executive director of the law center since 2006. 12 years ago, i told a committee of congress that numerous loopholes undermine our gun laws putting american lives at risk. since i last testified before congress, no significant progress has been made to close these loopholes and more than 390,000 people have died from gun violence in our country. some of these shootings made national headlines and shocked the nation. the massacres at a safeway in tucson, at sandy hook elementary school, a church in charleston, in orlando, las vegas, parkland and pittsburgh, just to name a few. but most american gun violence never makes the news, despite nearly 100 people dying every single day. the nominal effort made to address the reporting of records
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to the background check system has not done enough to stem the tide of gun violence in our country. it's far too easy for people who want to do harm to get their hands on guns. because federal law doesn't require a background check on every gun sale, people who shouldn't have guns are legally prohibited and legally prohibited from accessing them like domestic abusers, people with violent criminal records and people prohibited for mental health reasons can easily buy guns from unlicensed sellers with no background check and no questions asked. even if prohibiting records are in the system, people can simply bypass that system altogether. a 2013 study found approximately 80% of all firearms acquired for criminal purposes were obtained her from sources who were not required to run a background check. 96% of inmates who are prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time they committed their crime, obtained a gun this way. congress must close this
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dangerous loophole. that's why i'm grateful to congressman mike thompson and this committee for prioritizing hr-8 the background check act of 2019. in it will make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on gun and hurt themselves or others. since 1994, background checks have stopped over 3 million gun sales for transfers to convicted felons and other prohibited individuals. this bill would expand the appropriate use of this system ensure that laws prohibiting these people from possessing guns are properly enforced. while closing the loopholes in our federal background check system is a critical first step, we must also do more to cover people at a high risk from committing violence who are not currently prohibited from purchasing guns. this includes abusive dating partners, stalkers and people convicted of hate crimes. we should also ensure families and law enforcement have the tools they need to intervene when someone demonstrates signs
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of a serious crisis called extreme risk protection order laws. these laws create a legal process to temporarily remove firearms if a court finds someone poses a real risk. these laws now exist in some form in 13 states and save lives while ensure due process. we must invest in our collective future. congress should better regulate the gun industry and enact a gun trafficking law. it should also address gun violence in communities where its costs are felt more acutely -- in urban areas where young african-american and latino men are most impacted. well funded violence intervention and prevention programs can successfully break cycles of violence and level the playing fields for safety in our communities. congress should also invest financially into research in this public health and safety crisis. federal research into gun violence has been virtually nonexistent for 20 years. this must be addressed so we can
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learn more about this problem and how to effectively solve it. there is no constitutional impediment to passing life saving gun laws. since the founding of our country gun rights have always coexisted with gun regulations and the need to protect public safety has always gone hand in hand with americans' right to own guns. the only thing standing in the way of saves lives is the lack of political will. i all we need to strengthen our federal gun laws is a congress with the courage to do so. i urge this congress to find that courage, to show leadership on this life and death issue, and to act now. mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you for inviting us here to testify today and i look forward to answering your questions. >> i thank all of the witnesses and i thank all of the witnesses for their testimony. you we will now proceed under the five-minute rule with questions. i will begin by recognizing in myself for five minutes.
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my first question is for dr. sakran. dr. sakran, we have heard today and we hear repeatedly during an this extended debate the real problem or one real problem is mental health that we ought to deal better with mental health. i'm sure no one objects better to dealing with mental health problems. my question is the following, as i noted in my opening statement, gun deaths in most other countries are in the double or single -- double or triple digits, 300, 200, 100. you in our country it's 35,000 to 40,000 a year. is there any evidence number one that mental health differences, that our people are 10,000 times more mentally ill on average than people in other industrialized countries, that this provides an explanation and an that dealing with mental health alone will go any distance towards solve this problem?
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dr. sakran: well, thank you, mr. chairman for that question. you know, the disparity that exists between our country and other comparable countries is dramatic as you suggest, and even when folks factor in for the rates of mental health disease and other issues, we still exceed all those other countries by significant proportion. you it's not that we're a completely dissimilar. >> you thank you. i'll ask you one other question, firearm emergency protective orders in our family and law enforcement to recognize signs of danger to remove a person's access to guns if they're likely to use them to harm themselves or other. briefly please, what can congress do to ensure every american has access to an extreme risk protection order in appropriate circumstances when someone they love is experiencing such a crisis? dr. sakran: yeah. i mean this is such an important
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issue because when you look at the majority of deaths from firearms, those come from suicide. two-thirds. and the reality is, is when you look at the time that it takes from when the person decides to commit suicide until they actually make that first attempt, 50% happen within the first ten minutes. so being able to have -- >> what can congress do? dr. sakran: being able to have extreme risk protection orders where you can empower family members and you can empower the law enforcement to temporarily actually seize weapons so that they're not a harm to themselves or others is critical. >> thank you. miss thomas, the nra and others have argued that enacting universal background checks would penalize law abiding gun owners and prevent transfers such as a father giving a gun to his son. if the plain language of hr-8 the bipartisan background checks act is narrowly written and
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allows for this transfer can you walk us briefly through hr-8 and how it protects these kinds of common transfers? ms. thomas: so basically what hr-8 does is takes our existing law which prohibits this variety of individuals that we deem to be at highest risk from purchasing firearms now these individuals can buy firearms easily without a background check through an unlicensed sale. this law would mean that all transfers of firearms have to take place through a gun dealer including a background check so that background check would apply to all individuals. there are exceptions in the law for a number of instances including self-defense, including loans for hunting and other lawful purposes and also for transfers within immediate family members, grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles. >> immediate family wouldn't be subject to this. would not be subject to this requirement? you ms. thomas: and exactly. there's an exception for
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immediate foollyamily members. >> in an miss thomas, the only agency to regulate the gun industry has had its hands tied for decades through restrictive policy riders and a shrinking budget. can you talk about the challenges facing the atf and its efforts to regulate the gun industry and what congress needs to do to ensure better regulatory oversight of this agency? ms. thomas: there's two main issues. one is the funding question and the size of atf. the entirety of atf is the size of the las vegas police department. it's a rather small group of people looking to look after 55,000 gun dealers across the united states. approximately 8% of those gun dealers were able to be even inspected last year based on the number of agents that atf has. better funding is an absolute necessity for federal law enforcement to be able to properly do their job. secondly, i think you're referring to the tr restrictions which -- >> what restrictions? ms. thomas: an appropriations
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rider which prevent atf from aggregating trace data and using that information to properly do their job to find the source of gun trafficking and also prevented from modernizing their records which is helpful to also doing their job properly as law enforcement as well as encouraging or forcing gun dealers to keep better track of their inventories so they can better understand -- >> we need to appeal those restrictions? ms. thomas: absolutely. >> i recognize the ranking member mr. collins for five minutes. >> thank you. interesting line of questions because it hit on some things i want to discuss. miss thomas, since you're up we'll continue here. on your website it says that your organization supports national firearms registration that includes name, address, other identifying information about the owner of the firearm, importer, model, caliber, gauge, you get the picture. you like to require renewal registrations annually including submitting to a background check, is thes this correct? ms. thomas: one of the many policy solutions that we think would go a long way to helping reduce gun violence would be
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registration. >> ok. so that's a yes? i'm asking for a yes or no here. ms. thomas: one of the laws we think needs to be in place if we're going to make progress in reducing gun violence in america. >> your organization as you've already stated is a very active supporter of hr-8. do you realize it explicitly states nothing in this act or amendment made by this act shall be contrued to authorize the establishment of a firearm registry. it says it doesn't create a firearm registry. how do you square this position calling for a registry with a bill saying it doesn't? ms. thomas: that is absolutely what hr-8 says and we firmly support everything included in hr-8. when we go to our website our website includes the most comprehensive source of analysis of every gun law and state and at the federal level in existence and what is possible in a world where we might want to very comprehensively regulate guns as they do in many other countries. so what's on our website refers to all the possible policy
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options that this body and state governments can consider when looking at opportunities to regulate guns and reduce gun violence. >> it's been reported even under the previous department of justice, obama administration, there is no way to actually regulate private sales. let's talk about what we're actually talking about here, private sales, not when you go to a federal license arms dealer. it needs a registry. this goes back to my opening statement when i said i'm not sure which is crueller to actually tell people who come to say we're fixing your problem and offer something it doesn't fix. the question here because it gut itself inside the bill. you also mention red flag laws which i share a concern here, but the interesting thing is on the red flag hr-8 itself actually prohibits like if i was this morning to get up and i've had a bad night, let's say whatever, i don't want to live anymore, hr-8 actually would criminalize if i went across the street to my neighbor and said i'm having a bad day and want to
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make sure i don't have anything to hurt myself or family and give the guns to my neighbor it actually would criminalize that. it's not in the listed exceptions. if you read the bill it's not there. so again, i think what we've got to do is look at what is honestly being discussed here. chief acevedo, good to see you again. we had a great time in houston. doing something now, you brought that up, you know my father is in law enforcement and i think doing something now is a commendable thing if it works. if it actually fits. how can you explain what we just -- going off the last conversation, can you explain how hr-8 can operate without a firearms registry and do you see implementation problems in this? chief acevedo: well, i think that the recommendations that hr-8 has in there, the legislation, will not solve or eliminate gun violence but it will certainly -- i don't think anyone on this panel would say that it wouldn't prevent at least one death. and the question i would have
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is, passing -- if that one death was your child, your mother, your father, is a little inconvenience too much to save that life? if the answer is no, then there's nothing i can say that's going to change your mind on hr-8 but i believe that the legislation will save at least one life and if it's my child who dies, i want him to know and i want god to know that i was here today speaking on that life. >> i think the interesting thing is how many, though, again in a law that you passed that you give people comfort in saying that would pass can simply say the transfer was made before this, without a registry? i think this is an interesting thing to actually explore here. we're going to explore this more. i'm not questioning by any means the decision or the desire to find a solution to this. this is it. i was in the military in iraq had the trauma surgeons in iraq and we talked about this. but let's look at this wholistically because every time we want to go to fix this we go to the population that is the
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legal gun owners buying or selling in the legal format. we go to the bureau of prisons, most criminals do not get their guns from legal sources. they don't. the question is interesting because this has come up -- my time is running out. an interesting discussion here is what would be the penalty for robbing a federally licensed firearm dealer? what should it be and how should it be enforced? >> the time of the gentleman is expired. the witness may answer the question. chief acevedo: this has to be a two-prong approach. we need to take folks that would commit gun violence, steal firearms, we need a zero tolerance and tough approach. have these gun dealers actually have to secure, lock their firearms every night because they're the number one targets of gang members and other criminals, pawn shops and gun shops, where they come in and burglarize those places.
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there's a way to do it. i think the other thing we need to do is have congress actually authorize and fund studying a comprehensive study on this matter once and for all and let the experts come up with the policy decisions on an evidence based -- which is really interesting because you're from george mason university and i'm actually in the evidence based hall of fame there so i really believe that we need to study it well, need to fund it and lastly we need to get atf some help. they're a great partner, but they truly are because of the lack of funding and support of the congress, operate with one hand behind their backs, one arm behind their backs. >> thank you. the time of the gentleman is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am so pleased that we're having this hearing today. we experience an epidemic of gun violence in this country, deaths
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from mass shootings, suicides, and for years, we have failed to have any attention, any hearings, any legislation to deal with this epidemic and this tragedy. so i am pleased that we now have the opportunity to begin work on this public health crisis. you know, it's our turn to set the agenda and to listen to the american people so i appreciate all of the witnesses who are here and especially the young people who are in the audience who have spoken up across the country with passion and eloquence and it's your energy that has helped us be here today. i do have a question, miss thomas, about a study that was done by every town for gun safety.
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they reviewed an on-line firearms marketplace and according to their report they found that almost one in nine perspective gun buyers from the website would not have passed a background check and gave one example of a customer in georgia who was looking to buy a handgun immediately, he said within 24 hours, and a public records request showed he had multiple felony convictions including one for child molestation. he was currently under indictment. this was someone who shouldn't have a gun, he wouldn't have passed a background check, and yet he was able to obtain it through this unlicensed seller on the internet and that apparently is happening at a rate seven to one that the users of this website, people know they can avoid the background check. what can be done to make sure that people on-line and looking for guns are not able to avoid a background check?
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ms. thomas: that's exactly why we need to pass hr-8 because the reference to private sales doesn't acknowledge that private sales now, unlicensed sellers include on-line sales, include many sellers at gun shows and includes sthaels are happening on the street. hr-8 would address this gaping loophole in our background check laws and ensure that all gun sales, including sales on-line, are run through a licensed gun dealer with a background check. >> thank you very much. dr. sakran, in the early 1970's congress passed legislation spurred by a call to action surrounding public health crisis and shortly after congress acted, president richard nixon signed the public health cigarette smoking act which bans cigarette ads from airing on television and radio in response to evidence highlighting the causal link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.
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gun violence in this country is a public health crisis that claims the lives of 100 americans every day and injures hundreds more every day resulting in a nation of gun violence survivors with the trauma that that leaves them with. violence in any form has a lasting impact on individuals not only emotionally but physically and financially. now do you agree that gun violence is a public health crisis in america and how could we address the public health implications of gun violence similar as was done with smoking? dr. sakran: yeah. thank you for that question. that's such an important question. one of the things that we haven't done when it comes to gun violence is treated it like a disease, treated it like the public health crisis that it is.
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the tobacco analogy is great, but it's also, you know, you can talk about obesity and so many other things and as clinicians, we have a responsibility to be talking to our patients about, you know, things like safe storage and other aspects and what can we do? i think you know one of the biggest gaps, and we heard about this, is the lack of funding. there's been essentially a moratorium on federal funding when it comes to firearm injury prevention research. when you talk to, you know, folks like dr. redfield the cdc director he will say i'm happy to study it as long as congress appropriates those dollars. i think that's one thing that is so critical. >> thank you. and i -- my time is just about up but i would be remiss if did not thank my colleague from california mike thompson for the years he has spent leading our gun violence task force here in the audience today. thank you, mike, for your hard work. >> thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i do appreciate all the witnesses being here today. i'm thrilled there is so much interest in this issue. as has been said, i know everybody here wants to stop the gun violence. as a former prosecutor and defense attorney and a judge, felony judge, for over a decade, i've tried to remember any case -- i can't remember any significant case i had out of the thousands where somebody went through the process of getting a gun legally to inflict the violence. we all want to stop the gun violence. i haven't heard anybody talk about the breakdown of the home, the breakdown of moral teachings.
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those certainly have had an effect. now one of the most quoted numbers that we often hear, we've heard again today, is that background checks have stopped over 3 million people from getting guns that shouldn't. that's the initial stop. it's difficult to get through all of the data, but it appears the best estimate is somewhere over 96% of those 3 million end up being able to get guns. that's just the initial stop. and, in fact, a good indication is 2010 numbers and these are sometimes difficult to get the exact figures, but from 2010 we know there were 76,000 denials and the obama administration
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only found 44 that actually were committing a crime by trying to get a gun illegally. we want to all get to the same place. here in d.c. where they have incredibly strict gun laws it costs $125 to privately transfer a gun, people that are law abiding, they'll pay the $125. criminals will not. they will not stop the transfers among criminals and that's really where we get -- in baltimore we've heard about, it's $250. in illinois apparently it's $450 to get qualified to have a concealed carry. if hr-8 became law, and somebody
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called me or anybody and said i am scared to death, my former spouse or live-in or whomever has threatened me and i think he's going to be coming some time this week, well the law under hr-8 requires before you can do a private transfer, before you can take them a gun to try to help them protect themselves, there has to be an imminent threat. for someone to take a gun to somebody they love so they can protect themselves that week, they have committed a crime because you can't have an imminent threat for a week. so there are issues here -- we all want to get to an end of gun violence, but i would like to ask dr. -- and by the way, for victims, i mean, my heart goes
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out to you, whether it's a shooting, it's sexual assault, i mean there were so many times that as a judge i had to stoically do my job, but i would go back to my office with a broken heart for the victims. we know who does the real suffering and we want to stop it. and i am thrilled that we have so many people that care so deeply. dr. malcolm, in your information you indicated 2018 the fbi reported some 26,181 requests for background checks to purchase a gun. has that increased in the number of requests led to an increase in violence? dr. malcolm: no, it hasn't. in fact, for more than 20 years, the rate of gun homicides has
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gone down. it's gone up slightly the last couple of years. mostly because of these suicides. while the number has gone up the rate hasn't. so far more people are now allowed to conceal carry across the country, get a certificate to have a gun, but that hasn't resulted in what it was supposed to for those people against it. they thought there would be shoot-outs on every corner. people are very responsible, law abiding citizens are extremely responsible with that right and are using it to protect themselves. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. ms. jackson lee. >> i thank the chairman. let me likewise add my appreciation for evaluate witnesses and victims are in all of our hearts. but we are reminded that you are seeking action.
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let me thank the march for our lives and the members who have encountered these horrific tragedies. i also want to acknowledge chairman thompson for the years of work -- i've had the privilege of working with him -- and that we've come to this point, it is very much attributable to his persistence and i thank him. i thank miss kelly as well, having visited her district, as you well know, i have been at the memorial and i will never forget, and we owe you a great deal of gratitude. i thank you so very much. let me -- miss thomas, i might not get to ask you a question, but i want to indicate that the giffords center has been the mainstay of data collection and so i want to remind everyone the numbers we have cited have come
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from this great work, 100 americans dying every day. as we sit here today there are americans being killed by guns. i believe your statistics of 3 million people effectively being stopped through gun checks and the universal background check bill is a bill of common sense. that's all we've asked for. i want to ask professor thomas, let me do this, the second amendment is a -- the language in particular, allow me to read from the constitution, it indicates a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed. a simple process of background check, and i don't have a lot of time, professor malcolm, i'm going to direct the question to you, what in the second amendment is impacted through a
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simple, straightforward background check? how are you stopped from getting a gun? would you be stopped from getting a gun through a background check? i would not be stopped, but the people who are likely to misuse a gun would not go through a background check. the background check is really affecting those people who are law abiding citizens, for the most part, and not those people on the streets -- >> but the law abiding citizens would not be blocked from getting a gun through a background check? is that correct? if you make the background check -- >> if you make the background check cumbersome enough, like this new bill will, then you will. >> you've not answered the question. the question is, what in the second amendment is infringed upon by a background check? we're not asking about the process and cumbersome. that has to be tested. this is a bill that indicates universal background check. >> the process does interfere with people being able to get it. we've heard there are expenses --
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rep. jackson lee: we have no data to prove that. i think you -- you're not connecting -- i would like to hear you say just the existence of a universal background check, not process, would violate the second amendment. is that a yes or no? >> a background check is a process, really. and you can make it cumbersome -- rep. jackson lee: does it violate the second amendment? does it stop people from getting guns? >> it -- rep. jackson lee: it's not the point of who will not go through the process. will it stop people from getting guns that you say are law abiding citizens? >> one of the members -- one of the republican members of your committee has pointed out that there are expenses in the states that have universal background checks that poor people cannot afford. rep. jackson lee: thank you very much, professor. i don't think you're answering the question and it does not infringe on the second amendment. chief acevedo and dr. sakran, two questions, and i really want to question all the witnesses, but let me be clear, chief acevedo, you're on the streets with your law enforcement. you believe in relational policing. how much guns impacting your
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officers, but also as you walk the beat impacting neighborhoods, and mothers and fathers and children, that's my question to you, and i just want to get the question for dr. sakran. dr. sakran, years ago i introduced a bill where the chief of surgeon from trauma from texas children hospital said at that time it costs them $67,000 to treat a gun victim a child, 20 years plus ago. would you be able to answer monetarily, maybe not specifically, but the depth of cost both in human tragedy but dollars, that we lose by not responding to gun violence in america? chief, would you answer the question, please. and i ask the indulgence of the chair. yes, chief. >> thank you for the question. the gun violence impacts all big cities across the country and suburban america as well. if you think about domestic violence, in the city of houston
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last year, we had tragically 279 homicides. that went up by 10. and the driver, the greatest driver, 38% increase in domestic violence homicides, domestic violence murders, we don't have enough tools across our country for police officers in those situations to temporarily remove firearms, to keep women safe and families safe and children safe, so it is a significant problem. all you have to do is turn on your television, listen to the radio or the scanners, and go to our emergency rooms and you'll see it is a significant problem. rep. jackson lee: dr. sakran? >> thank you so much for that question because if -- >> the time has expired. the witness is permitted to answer. rep. jackson lee: thank you, mr. chairman. >> you're welcome. chief acevedo spoke after the time had expired. is next witness questioner -- before mr. goetz, i want to announce that
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the committee will recess at 12:30 for one half hour for lunch. we will resume at 1:00. we will continue until there will be votes, which we expect on the floor some time after 2:00, and if necessary we'll reconvene after those votes. mr. goetz? goetz: thank you, mr. chairman. ronald silva was standing with a friend in his driveway when he was shot and killed by an illegal alien who had been previously deported. agnus gibbeny, desilva's mother, said the guy who killed my son has a determinant sentence in prison, but i have a lifetime sentence of grief and pain. an illegal alien from mexico murdered grant roneback with a gun on january 22nd, 2015, in mesa, arizona. i.c.e. was working to determine whether or not he should be deported when he had the opportunity to commit this crime. gustavo garcia, a 36-year-old
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illegal alien, shot and killed a 51-year-old rocky paul jones on december 17 at a gas station. garcia had previously been deported by i.c.e. before his deportation, he had a criminal record going all the way back to 2002, where he had illegally possessed a firearm. in addition to murdering jones, garcia also shot a farm worker in the chest who was picking fruit, committed armed robbery, and shot and attempted to kill a woman after he followed her to a motel 6. on january 2nd, 2019, an illegal alien shot and murdered california officer ronil singh, a story that captivated the country. on november 13, 2018, an illegal alien shot and killed three people in missouri after he was released on domestic violence charges. this was luis perez, age 23, was
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a recipient of the daca program in 2012 and 2014. time and again, we see circumstances where people illegally come into firearms. each did not acquire lawfully. tight title 18 of the federal code says it's always illegal for an illegal alien to have a firearm. while i appreciate folks from my state of florida coming and sharing their advice and their counsel to the judiciary committee, i think the stories of other people who have been impacted by gun violence are relevant to our discourse because they speak to the fact that there are dangerous people who do illegal things who will have access to firearms. the question is, what will insure that does not cause the massive amount of violence that we've seen in the country? i'm encouraged by elements of legislation passed in my home state of florida that focus on red flag circumstances, mental health, that look at people who
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gone through our jails and do everything we can to ensure that when their time and incarceration is concluded, they don't go back to arsenals to do harm to themselves or others. but as i review hr-8, it seems to me there's nothing in the bill that would have stopped many of the instances that we've been discussing. moreover, if we're really looking for solutions, maybe we ought to allow states to do what florida did and analyze the impacts on our mental health system, recognizing those systems are different across the 50 states. i hope that we will not adopt this federalization of deprivation of constitutional right and i hope we will allow our states to continue to innovate and find ways to keep communities safer and as we hear the stories and circumstances for those here, i hope we do not forget the pain and anguish and sense of loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the
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hands of illegal aliens. hr-8 would not have stopped many of the circumstances i raised but a wall, a barrier on the southern border, may have, and that's what we're fighting for. >> the gentleman will suspend. everyone here is here at the -- as a guest of the committee. no matter what you think or what any member of the committee may say or witness, you must not comments or otherwise demonstrate. rep. gaetz: mr. chairman, may i have my time restored? >> your time will be restored. rep. gaetz: thank you. appreciate that. and so again, i think that was a rather instructive moment for the committee, mr. chairman, because as we gather here in washington, there are a
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divergent series of views and inputs and thoughts, and my concern is that by adopting hr-8, we actually stifle the innovation that could lead to better public safety outcomes if we allowed states and local communities to deal with the challenges my great state of florida has. again, i hope that we'll deal with all of the drivers of violence. the greatest driver of violence in the circumstances that i indicated was not the firearm. it was the fact that we have an immigration system that allows people to come here violently. >> there will be no comments or demonstrations, please. >> mr. chairman, point of order. is there any committee rule or -- point of inquiry, any rule that prevents a member of congress from reciting false statements in a committee hearing that are unsupported by the evidence -- [applause] that are unsupported by the evidence, or are members of congress entitled to just make things up in support of specious arguments? it's an parliamentary inquiry. >> i'm not aware off the top of
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my head, since i haven't researched this question, i'm not aware of any such rule. i would also observe that the factuality of any statement is always subject to contest by someone who disagrees with it. and at a hearing such as this, if a member makes a statement that is not borne out by the facts, it's the prerogative of another member, when his turn comes, to comment on that or to point out his opinion or her opinion as to its truth or falsity. thank you. rep. gaetz: i believe i still control the time. >> one moment. one moment. it is never permissible for members of the audience to comment or vociferously to object. this is a hearing for members of congress and the witnesses. everyone else is here as an observer and must not participate in any way other
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than by observing. the gentleman from -- >> i make a point of order against the gentleman from rhode island. i make the point of order that the gentleman's words were unparliamentary because they applied the lying or false -- they implied the lying or falsehood of a member. if he wants to go there we'll take words down. >> i would rule the gentleman's point of order not well taken because although because there was not an accusation -- >> didn't he say -- >> let me finish. there was not an accusation of falsity by another member. there was an inquiry as to rules regarding that subject. >> did he not make the statement that he was asking if the member -- tried to stop the member from making false statements. rep. nadler: my recollection, we can have it read back, but i don't think it necessary, he simply asked about the rules that we use when a member, if a member makes a false statement, which is an inquiry. it is not a direct accusation
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that a member made a false statement. >> i will just recommend that he got so close to that line that he couldn't tell if he was over it or not. we need to watch and let the gentleman continue, but this needs to happen in an orderly way. we have differences of opinion that need to be expressed, and when those are messed up, we need to stay in a parliamentary procedure. this is not going to result in yelling and accusing. he has five minutes coming up. rep. nadler: yelling is out of order, yelling by members of the audience. the inquiry by a member did not violate the rules because it was not a direct accusation against another member. how much time does the member have left? rep. collins: i have a secondary parliamentary question. as stated in the past, as stated in the past, mr. chairman, when
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members of the audience disrupt this, they are typically escorted out. is that going to be the position of this chair, or are we going to continue to allow it? rep. nadler: clause 2 k 4 rule 11 provides the chair may punish breaches of order by exclusion from the hearings. this rule has been construed to afford the chair the discretion to enforce the quorum in the committee room, including the removal of disruptive members of the public. my preference is not to invoke this response at this time, but please consider this a warning. rep. collins: thank you, mr. chairman, for your clarification. >> a point of parliamentary inquiry. rep. nadler: the gentleman will state his inquiry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. is there a process in the committee whereby, if the very same people are repeatedly interrupting the time of the members, that those people will be asked to depart the committee, or is there -- rep. nadler: i will -- excuse me. if the gentleman repeats that or
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any other comment, i will direct he be removed. i will direct he be removed if he repeats it. thank you. >> mr. chairman, i would observe that's three interruptions of my time by the same individual, and that the chair is not utilizing his discretion to remove the individual. i believe i have about a minute of time remaining and i wanted to take the time -- >> will the gentleman yield for -- my friend yield for a question. >> i typically do, my friend from florida, but since my time has been interrupted by members of the other side, perhaps you can have a colleague yield time to you. the time i have remaining, i believe was at a minute and 12 seconds. rep. nadler: the gentleman has 1 minute, 37 seconds. >> thank you. i appreciate that. rep. nadler: the gentleman will proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we all are entitled to our own opinions and views on how to address gun violence, but i don't believe that we are entitled to our own facts, and while i have great personal afiction for the gentleman from rhode island, it is deeply troubling to me and hurtful that as i share the experiences of
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people who have lost sons and daughters, who have lost friends and neighbors, at the hands of violent illegal aliens who have illegally acquired firearms, that my colleague would indicate that's somehow lying or making misrepresentations to the committee. if my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have solutions for gun violence or to secure our border, to make sure that illegal aliens don't come into possession of firearms, i'm eager to hear those. but in your debate with me, please don't demean or diminish the pain and suffering, the humanitarian consequences, the violence, the bloodshed, that has occurred because we allow illegal aliens to come into our country, receive the veils of protection, benefit from policies of catch and release, that my friends on the other side of the aisle have supported, and then come here and act like that is the great, you know, challenge of our day to deal with gun violence. if we really cared about safer
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streets, we would build a wall and secure the border, and we would do it posthaste. i thank the chairman for his indulgence. >> though, jesus christ. rep. nadler: the gentlelady will state her inquiry. rep. jackson lee: i will direct it not at any particular member. i do think in this committee that we should -- the parliamentary inquiry is the caution of making sure we do not have broad labels of immigrants, african-americans, women as we debate. we have a right to a disagreement, but is there any rules that confine us to not labeling individuals such as the "illegal immigrants," which is a vast term of individuals including women and children? nadler: i don't think that's a proper parliamentary inquiry. rep. jackson lee: thank you, chairman. i will pursue it in another manner.
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nadler: the next witness is -- >> let me ask you a few questions. you're familiar with most of the mass killings in the country in recent history. there are some noted here. in thousand oaks, there were 12 killed, 17 at parklands, 25 at southerland, texas. -- sutherland springs, texas. orlando, 49, aurora, sandy hook, virginia tech. how many of those people came across our southern border that committed those crimes? >> to my knowledge, none of those. i thought illegal aliens, when they got in, went straight to a taco shot, got a gun, and went straight to killing people. that does not happen? >> not that i'm aware of. repp--
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cohen: what is the best way you think is the best way to reduce gun violence in the country? >> i think it is the first step to this. i think once it is passed, there are a number of steps this congress can take to adequately address gun violence in america. we know that states that have comprehensive regulation have lower rates of gun violence than those that have very lacks gun regulations. today we have been talk about regulation through protective orders. i can go on. my testimony includes a wide range of possible angles this congress can consider as a way to reduce gun violence. almost all of them have research showing positive impact. cohen: and you're are familiar with everytown for gun safety?
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>> yes. rep. cohen: they made this their top priority to be massing this background checks on all gun sales. do background checks relate to domestic disturbances? >> absolutely. it will not only keep guns out of the hands of individuals who should not happen, including domestic abusers. it forces all gun sales to keep the guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. in memphis, tennessee, there were 176 deaths because of homicide in 2018. 90% of those were gunfire. do you think people of memphis could expect a reduction in that rate if we pass hr-8?
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>> it is mard to say one law will have an impact. we know that starting with closing the loophole, passing universal background checks, and looking for specific opportunities to expand upon that, absolutely will reduce gun violence. urban centers have issues we can look at. we have been looking very closely at prevention strategies that particularly address the problems of urban centers and have been shown to be incredibly effective. i think looking at the specific issues that face a city is the way to proceed, but this is the right way to start. rep. cohen: charleston, south carolina, had a church shooting. did that perpetrator pass a background check? >> g did not.
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individuals who did not have the background check completed in three days, the dealer has an opportunity to transfer the weapon even without a background check. in this instance, that individual would not and should not have passed a background check. rep. cohen: so if hr-8 was the law, there's a chance he would not have gotten a gun and those church people would be alive? >> that is the hope. we also need to look at closing the default proceeds loophole. rep. cohen: thank you for your work. and thank you to all the people who have testified. it is astonishing to me that background checks are something 90 some odd percent of the public is in support of. almost every organization thinks it will help. we need to reduce this and not have more moments of silence and deep thoughts and prayers. we have had enough of that. we need action. >> gosh.
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>> thank you, gentlemen. rep. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to say on this side, thank you to all of the witnesses. it takes courage of conviction to do what you're doing here today. it is understandable. we get that. everyone in this room wants to end the tragedy of gun violence in our country. we just have policy differences on what's the means to achieve that end. it's a healthy debate. that's what our constitutional republic is founded on. i'm glad you respect that. we think that this particular bill is not an effective step to achieving that desired end. we think it will be counterproductive. we will try to explain that during our questions. my questions are for professor malcolm, thank you for being here. i want to ask you about application of the second amendment.
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let me get to the foundational principles. i think it is important for us to note what the second amendment is based upon. you have written about how it is based upon protecting our pre-existing right. the second amendment does not say people should be permitted to be armed for their defense. it clarifies that the right shall not be inflinringed. the question is, why is that? found -- william blackstone noted that gun rights were rooted in the natural right of resistance. it notes the right of self-defense was understood by everyone as the first law of nature. of course, our founders listed and declaration of independence and the question is when you discuss this and talk to lay people about it, how do you convey and emphasize the importance of the underlying
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principle of the second amendment? >> it was the most fundamental right. it is something that the law could not take away. blackstone, the great jurist that our founders were so influenced by, said that no government could take away the right to self-defense. it is not much for the law to come later and pick up the pieces. that's what we have heard about. there are people that deserve to have some means of protecting themselves. that is the core of the second amendment, that it's the right to your individual self-defense. as i mentioned before, the police, however much they want to protect us, can't possibly protect everybody.
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so, the best way for anyone who is in danger to protect themselves is through some means of protecting themselves. that's what the second amendment was all about. that was what the second founders understood it to be. >> it is fundamental and foundational. in your written testimony, you noted that there's been an overall decline in firearm homicide since 1991, which correlates with the number of 39 states which branded concealed carry permits. my moment state of louisiana is one and i have one of those. do you believe when states allow trusted law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional rights for shall issue provisions and others like it, that gun violence can be prevented? prof. malcom: it certainly has worked in those states. people that want to harm someone else don't know who is armed and who isn't.
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they are in the dark about it. it is a help that some people are prepared to protect themselves. it has not resulted in more gun violence. we heard today some of the increase in homicides from guns has been from suicides. so, it is not law-abiding citizens that are causing a problem. it is people getting illegal guns. that seems to be what the issue is. question, the heller court made clear that this is an individual right, and that this right is fundamental and sacrosanct. do you think heller provides us with enough protection against ill-conceived legislation that may run afoul in this second amendment right? prof. malcolm: there are some of the lower courts have not been respecting heller. i am really glad now that the supreme court seems to be
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willing to take a case and get back into it. otherwise, the second amendment what justice thomas called a constitutional orphan. we have this second amendment right. it is important. you cannot just obliterate it without doing damage generally to all of our rights. >> i yield back. thank you all. >> we will recognize the gentleman from georgia next. >> thank you, madam chair. i would like to thank all of the panelists that are here today and personally touched by gun violence. i thank you for your bravery by bearing witness to senseless acts of violence. you're helping to make our world a safer place. thank you. the failure of congress to pass universal background check legislation has eroded our sense
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of safety on our streets in our schools, and in our places of worship. because background checks are not required by unlicensed gun dealers, guns and up in the hands of dangerous people who are barred by law from owning a gun. in 2018 on the online site, there were 97 online posts by unlicensed firearms dealers from gwinnett county, georgia, which is part of my district. they were advertising guns for sale. that represents potentially at least 97 guns being sold to 97 violent criminals or certified mentally ill individuals. those guns ending up in other locations throughout the country. mr. chairman, we can do better than this.
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or madam chair. i want to thank him for making gun violence as his first committee meeting as chair, thus sending the message that we are serious about common sense gun reform. now i'm going to yield the balance of my time to a woman who has been personally by the the gunive effects of that plaguesemic america. i want to recognize the efforts of the sponsor, michael thompson, who sat through this hearing -- thank you for being here -- and also congresswoman robin kelly, who is an original cosponsor. thank you for being here. congresswoman mcbath, i yield my
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time to you. rep. mcbath: thank you so much, congressman johnson. as many of you know, gun violence is deeply personal to me. in 2012, my son was shot and killed by a man who opened fire on a car of unarmed teenagers at a gas station in jacksonville, florida. jordan was only 17 years old. jordan would be turning 24 this week, february 16. after my son's death, i dedicated my life for advocating for commonsense gun safety solutions, but it was the shooting at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, that finally motivated me to run for congress. yesterday i brought a couple to my state of the union who experienced a tragedy that no
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parent should ever have to endure. their daughter was killed when a man entered a yoga studio and shot six people, killing two before taking his own life. their daughter had a bright future ahead of her and was eager to do good work in the world, but her dreams were cut short by a hateful man with a firearm. she was only 21. far too many families experience tragedies like ours every day. the pain of losing a child to gun violence never ends. it keeps families like ours from -- these stories are vitally important to pass commonsense legislation to keep families like ours from experiencing the horror brought on by gun violence. they believe that a policy solution could prevent killings like the death of their daughter. they have to become advocates for laws often called red flag
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laws. they can prevent both murderers and suicides by temporarily removing weapons from those who are a danger to themselves and to others. our community and our nation cannot wait any longer for commonsense gun safety solutions, like extreme risk laws and universal background checks. and i look forward to discussing the this issue further during my time for question. -- questions. rep. mcbath: the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. --. banks reppo biggs -- rep. biggs: thank you for being here today and the members of the audience for being here.
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my question is, savannah, i'm sorry for the violence that you experienced in your life. i want to ask a couple of questions with your experience with the guns. you indicated you were an owner of guns. when did you first get a gun, and what did you do to learn how to use it? >> yes, my grandfather was always really into like, firearms, target training, all of that kind of stuff. it is something i grew up around, and i always thought it was really interesting. when i was eight or nine, i said, i want to do this. he said, well, you are a child so you have to prove that you are responsible. you have probably purchased a handgun. you know how it comes with an instruction manual, basically? he made me read that cover to cover and quizzed me on it. only after that that he let me pick up a bb gun. after safety training, i had to be able to take it apart, put it back together. that's when he was like, ok, now i'll teach you how to shoot a handgun.
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that was probably when i was 10. i'm 24 now. it has probably been about 14 years. >> before you went away to college, you had been using and trained in using a gun for many years? ms. lindquist: yes, sir. rep. biggs: when you went to college? ms. lindquist: i went to philadelphia. >> did you take any guns with you? ms. linguist: i did not. it would have been illegal for me to have it on my college campus, and even transporting it could have been an issue. i couldn't drive it through maryland given their firearm laws. i didn't want to break the law, so i left it at home. >> you said i obeyed the law is it ended with me being raped. i wondered if you would expand on that. ms. lindquist: sure.
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in my situation personally, i was left defenseless. there was nothing i could have done. he snuck up behind me and attacked me. i'm just a young woman. at the time, i weighed 100 pounds less than i do now. there was no fighting him off. that's what i mean in terms of my situation. there are a lot of examples. one of the top ones that comes to my mind is -- there was a law where you couldn't bring a firearm into a restaurant. she left it in the car and her husband was shot and murdered in the restaurant and she couldn't defend him. rep. biggs: thank you for being here today. i appreciate your willingness to come out and testify on an emotional issue. i am grateful for that. ms. lindquist: i appreciate that. thank you.
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you record that the fbi does not record defenseless uses of guns. prof. malcolm: that's right. rep. biggs: why is that so? prof. malcolm: i think that even if they did record it, there are probably defensive uses of guns that are not reported to them because people are uncertain whether they would be some how charged or not. they don't record it. the only way is through surveys. rep. biggs: so the national surveys you cited, well, you referring to, i should say, you indicate what i would call a large range between 700,000 to 3.6 million uses annually. can you elaborate on that, please? it is difficult to
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get -- prof. malcolm: it is difficult to gather these cans of statistics, and when the government does that, people are more cautious about not saying anything for fear they will run the law. the defensive uses are much greater than the number of people who are actually shot. most of the people who defend themselves with guns do not have to use it in any way. they just have to show they have it. there was an instance -- you're going to run out of time. before you get there, i need to add this last question. you said since 1991 there has been a steep decline in firearm homicides, but there is a slight uptick in the last couple of years. can you expand on that? dr. malcolm: yes, it has been extraordinary. a peak in gun it hades in 1991,, and
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gone down by half, despite the fact that there were more people who were able to carry guns in their state as more and more states were able to issue concealed carry weapons. i think it shows that the guns are not causing the violence and are probably helping to stop it, and also allowing people to protect the rights to protect themselves. ordinary people are very responsible. it's not the people who are likely to commit a crime that are going to go through the background checks or whatever process their state has. the gentleman's time has expired. thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. >> i thank our witnesses for being here. i think robin kelly for your leadership. i want to start by recognizing my constituents from parkland who are in the hearing room today.
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[reciting names] they are the surviving families of the 14 students and three adults who were killed nearly one year ago in february 14, 2018. their pain and loss is real and immeasurable because their loved ones were gunned down. it does not matter where that shooter was born. i want to recognize them today because they have done everything they can to make american communities safer from gun violence.
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to get weapons of war off our streets, to develop safer schools, demand background checks on all gun purchases, stand up to those that control washingtonlatures in to protect their profits and not protect american lives. the parkland families have done all of this in response to their grief. they never signed up for this. they would do anything to change this. they don't owe us their service or advocacy. they don't owe us anything. congress failed them. we did not do our job. today, the house judiciary committee is finally holding a hearing on gun violence, a crisis that kills 40,000 americans every year. i want to ask my republican colleagues, is it still too soon? is it too soon to stop gun violence?
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that's what i heard after marjorie stoneman douglas, but it was already too late. as we start this important work, i ask to enter statements into the record. rep. mcbath: without objection. >> thank you for being here. your classroom was attacked, but at march for our lives, you spoke to hundreds of thousands, over a million people in d.c. and other events. you said, i'm not here to speak only about school shootings, i am here to speak for the urban communities who have been speaking out about this way before february 14. student survivors like yourself have been some of the strongest voices for change. over the past year, you have met with young people from around the country. tell us what you have learned in the meetings and the discussions
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and the friendships you have developed in places like miami and chicago, baltimore, los angeles, cities that face daily gun violence. >> i notice that, you know, it's hard to have these conversations, but, you know, we have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. i noticed there is always an elephant in the room. that is the urban community. nobody wants to talk about how to combat the issue of gun violence in urban communities. when black and brown youth are the number one impacted youth by gun violence. that's one thing i noticed, and i have been working tirelessly to share my platform with those marginalized communities. their voices are just as important as mine and my colleagues from parkland. >> they are, and thank you for using your voice to help lift up the voices of so many. after february 14, the floridalegislatures and protection orders.
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-- the florida legislature passed protection orders. states and local governments all around the country have taken action. finally, the house of representatives is about to act. you said during your testimony i asked that you give my generation a chance. the important message today, as i see it from this seat looking out at this crowd, is that you don't need to ask for us to give you a chance. your leadership and the young people who are here today and who have been energized around the country are providing the leadership that is making this happen. we are going to pass backgrounds checks because it's supported by over 90% of the american people, and it can help save a life. and it is true. if only one life is saved, that's enough for me. and it darn well ought to be enough for every single member of congress. when we finish our work today,
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what the young people should know, what the people here today in this crowd should know is just as they are not going any where and will remain on this issue, in this fight, because it is the fight for their lives, we will not stop either. thank you. i yield back. [applause] rep. mcbath: the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. oh, i'm sorry. the gentleman from california. >> thank you, madam chairman. this is not a new subject. we have some 50 years of experience with gun control laws. we found them extremely effective at disarming law-abiding citizens. we found it extremely
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ineffective at disarming criminals, madmen, and terrorists, as they end up creating a society where criminals are as armed as ever. fortunately, we also have a lot of experience with laws that do work. executing murderers works. locking up other gun predators until they are old and feeble works. confining the dangerously mentally ill so they can be treated works. responsible armed citizens who can return fire works. these laws protected us well for many, many decades. i think depending on criminals to obey gun laws is delusional. in case after case, authorities have turned a blind eye to repeated complaints about violent and obviously mentally ill persons. recognizedt widely
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for its meticulousness in obeying our gun laws. only their defenseless victims seem to be. now for bid local law enforcement from turning dangerous criminal illegal aliens over to ice for deportation. instead, they are releasing them back into their communities. these are the same states that make it tougher for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. an armed guard at the bank is there to protect our money. but when anyone ever proposes armed guards at her schools, it is met with derision. guards ato me armed schools has got to be backed up by armed force. why shouldn't school employees that were trained and entrusted with concealed weapons permits be allowed to use permits in our schools to defend our children and stop the next massacre? i think they should be.
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not every teacher has to be, but clearly those people who are willing to be trained or are members of the military or the police force should be there, on the spot. it was not the gun laws or congress that let those children down. it was first responders that let them down and do that cruz was dangerous, and had gone to his house and were warned about him 45 times. they never put him on a background list. if they had, he could not have gotten a weapon. even when they knew he had weapons, they did not disarm him. i think background checks are fine as far as they go, but it is really important to have someone on the spot who will protect those children. mcclintock: i think we also learned depending on law enforcement alone is not sufficient. ms. lindquist, i want to thank you for coming today. i almost worked for ed davis.
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he was the chief of the los angeles police department at the time of the manson murders, the sla shootout, campus rights. he introduced such innovations as neighborhood watch and community-based policing that engaged private citizens. it worked. during his tenure as chief, violent crime declined in los angeles while it was skyrocketing nationally. the core of his philosophy was looking at law-abiding citizens and the police as being partners in upholding the laws that protect us. he opposed gun control laws because he viewed law-abiding citizens as an integral part of policing. he saw it as the first line of defense. how does your experience relate to that view? i'm not sure: neighborhood watch, to be honest, would have helped me in this situation -- rep. mcclintock: my point is
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that underlies a more fundamental philosophy as the first line of defense against crime. ms. lindquist: sure, and i certainly agree with that. as i said in the testimony, i don't really want to get into the details of what happened, but it was him versus i. it was a battle of strength, and obviously i lost. yes, police are great and i very but respect what they do, sometimes seconds count. rep. mcclintock: thank you. the chairh: recognizes the gentleman from california. chair.k you, madam i want to follow-up with my colleague mr. mcclintock. think,rhood watch, i do provides a real opportunity for community members to get involved. but at davis never believed in arming the neighborhood watch.
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i have a couple questions. believeo address what i is a common stereotype of inner-city communities, in particular african-american communities, because it does often said that the only time the community responses when a police officer kills an african-american, and when there is crime that takes place in our communities, we don't do anything. my good colleague, representative robin kelly, told me about your work. i wanted to ask you if you could talk about the work that you have done, what role community-based organizations can play in preventing crime, and comforting those who have suffered from the impact. also, what resources do you need from us? i worked in communities for many
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years. it is never considered newsworthy when we are doing marches and trying to address the situation. anyway, i would like for you to respond for what you're doing in the community and what we can do as members of congress to help you. >> first of all, thank you so much for that acknowledgment. as i sit here, i listened to the back and forth about gun violence, and to me it leaves out the important part, those who have to deal with it on a daily basis. a mom in my community lost two sons in one week because of gun violence. it seems like it is always talked around about the people who are living there. you can imagine a block with 10 houses on it and six of those have lost kids to violence. so there is no block anymore. there is no community anymore because all those families are
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hurting. and then one on the block steps up and says i want to do something and i want to help. and nobody wants to help because of the color of their skin or where they come from. so you're fighting a losing battle, and i'm speaking of myself personally right now. you're fighting a losing battle not only to give hope to the people you are trying to help, but to the community that you live in, because they believe the violence is more prevalent. rep. bass: does your organization have funding? >> no, ma'am. we had seven volunteers. not that we would not want salaries. rep. bass: how were you able to do that work with just volunteers? >> because we have very generous donors. they have supported us all these years, and foundations have helped us. we have never had a grant writer or anything like that. i doesn't come from that. i just want people to know before my time is up that it
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doesn't come from that. it comes from more of a sense of, i am more afraid to not do anything than i am to do something. think of thet i do communities had resources -- >> without question. rep. bass: thank you very much. thank you. i want today ask if you could very briefly -- i needed to add -- yield some of my time. in a community like chicago that has strong gun laws, the problem is the surrounding area. state of california, strong gun laws. we have states that guns come in from. could you respond to what the federal government could do to help, and then i will yield my time to mr. deutsch. >> one of the things is to properly fund atfs so they could do their job to better trace the trafficking of guns across state lines, and to pass a trafficking bill. we do not currently have a
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federal bill that addresses the problem of gun trafficking. rep. bass: thank you very much. rep. deutch: i wanted to set the record straight on one discussion. we have gone back and forth. there has been a lot of talk about the heller case and blackstone. it is important to actually, as we have these discussions, to be honest about what we are trying to do. every proposal that has been made in the gun safety area is entirely constitutional. don't take it from me. , whoit from justice scalia o said the second amendment is not unlimited. commentators and courts have routinely explained that the right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. that's the language we need to bear in mind. we cannot be fooled by those that suggest that what we are trying to do is
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unconstitutional. what we are trying to do is constitutional, it is just, and it will save lives. rep. mcbath: the gentleman's time has expired. i ask that the following items the added to the hearing record. we have a letter from prosecutors against gun violence in support of bipartisan background checks act of 2019. we have the loopholes that allow -- we have a 2019 report from every town for gun safety concerning internet sales for firearms and the background check loopholes that allow internet sales to occur without any background checks. without objection, these letters will be added to the hearing record.
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as was announced previously, the committee will now recess until 1:00. our guests for joining us today, and i want to let them know that if they leave during the break, they will not be guaranteed their seats when they return. we have many people outside who would like to come in, and we want to give everyone a chance to watch today's hearing. with that, the committee will stand in recess until 1:00.
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>> the committee will come to order. the gentlelady from arizona. >> thank you, mr. chairman. tell the the testifiers and the people that came today, i sincerely all of you coming today, especially those of you are victims of domestic or sexual violence or gun violence and those that have lost people. i believe that all of us, whether republican or democrat, i hope you realize that we all care. to reduce gun violence. sometimes there's just a in opinion of how we get there. and mr. chairman, i also want to ranking member, representative collins, in saying how disappointed i am you didn't allow
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congressman scalise to testify and quite frankly, he was wounded and is still recovering and that's different than the other members that you said wanted to come testify and you for.t have time so i'm still wondering why that -- what happened. and also, mr. chairman, i want something thatou earlier when the gentleman, who very sorry for, he lost someone from gun violence. got up andly disrupted. it intimidated me. intimidated, i was told, one of the witnesses here. so that's why i think it's important that we don't let that continue to happen. family, we didn't have guns.
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my father was in world war ii and after he was in world war ii, he quit hunting and we didn't have any guns. much about know them. i had an irrational fear of guns. there. been i have been there with some of you that have never shot a gun, it. never experienced but then i started educating myself and realized that when these laws, a lot of them are unenforceable. also, it's the criminals that don't follow the laws, right? theabiding citizens follow laws so if you're trying to stop the gunence and most of violence is caused by people that didn't follow the laws, getting theeally solution that you want. and i am a strong supporter of amendment.
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a survivor of domestic violence so i appreciated the testimony on with youwant to share that there's people like me out that have been victims, but we also want to be able to and so i hopees that you go away with realizing want to the solve this problem. i have to share with you that ae department of justice, in recent january 2019 report of inmates. they were interviewed, and the used guns in their stated theyf them obtained their gun by stealing it or by underground. and another 25% -- so almost all legally obtained it
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from a family member. so i guess what i'm trying to you is that when you have laws -- itioned believe you really believe these background checks are really going to save people's lives. but you'll see that most of the people that committed the crimes the guns, stole the guns, got them from family members. so universal background checks thoseot help in most of situations. i also studied all the major quite intensely singlelized that not one one of them would have been prevented from a universal background check. i mean iwent through all the details. i asked all the questions. know, and i do think there are many ways that we can reduce gun violence and we've done it
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here in a bipartisan fashion. in fiscal year passed legislation that helps prevent violence in our schools. very important. protect anded to fix the national instant background check which is the system where these backgrounds are actually -- you find out. and we found out through studies that a lot of states and agencies don't even report the information. >> your time has expired. have a question? >> i do. thank you very much. toust want to say ms. lindquist, thank you for being here. ask you, please, explain again how these well intentioned laws actually hurt you from allowing you to defending yourself -- thehe witness will answer question. >> so i do want to say, thank you for speaking publicly about of domesticivor violence. it's terrible that anyone has to
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go through that but it can feel very alone so it's great to see people in positions of power talking about it. so the laws that specifically me are, in the state of pennsylvania where i was going to school, college, was a gun-free zone. so you couldn't have firearms of any kind unless, of course, you the police. and then also, like i said, i live in virginia and originally to undergrad in pennsylvania which would require whichg through maryland, would make me like immediately a felon. so it's a combination of those things. >> time of the gentlelady has expired. gentleman from rhode island. >> i want to thank our witnesses and many people in the audience. your testimony is incredibly inspiring and invaluable and i cannot overstate the importance and urgency of this hearing and i want to thank the chairman for his leadership. is the first time -- first
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hearing in the u.s. house of representatives on gun violence prevention in nearly a decade. epidemic gun violence in this country. in some disproportionately impacted communities, persistence instances of gun violence are a fact of life, endangering the life of these communities. risen byeath rate has 17%, gun suicide rate by 19% and rate the gun rate hit a nearly 2017 and roughly 40,000 deaths according to the c.d.c. the u.s. is now the world leader deaths with death second highest reason for death. number of americans has risen. gun
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mr. chairman, i notice the time was not reset. think the time was corrected from the last person speaking over. each of these statistics is another example of this body's shameful failure to protect americans from gun violence and real familyhas a devastated by this epidemic. despite efforts over the last years imploring republicans to enact common sense safety could musterall we was 30 seconds of doing nothing and saying nothing in a moment of silence. there was no hearing in response to many of the deadliest mass shootings our country has ever seen. think about what that means. congress did nothing when at sandywere massacred hook elementary school and marjory stoneman douglas high school and santa fe high school. were gunned down creek,leston, oak pittsburgh.
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when people were killed in a nightclub in orlando, movie aurora and country music concert in las vegas. in some of the cases, the gunman would have failed a background check but got a gun anyway. possessed gunmen deadly military style weapons or magazines,ty endangering our communities. could of them, congress have taken action to try to prevent these tragedies from happening again. is imperative that we do all that we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who should and give law enforcement the tools they need to protect the public. that's why i've introduced bills to prevent children, violent persons, and guns,als from accessing ban assault weapon and stock devices, support systems for mental health professionals when individuals communicate a serious threat of violence, government funding for the research firearm violence as a public health
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issue. the american people are completely fed up with this institution's willful neglect in in the them to suffer face of clear epidemic and are demanding we finally do something before another horrible tragedy happens and another dangerous weapon ends up in the wrong hands. it's long overdue for congress to prevent further senseless violences from occurring. solutions are.e we time to act and the notion that since there is not a single passed will eliminate all gun violence that we should do nothing is an justification for inaction. the truth is, there are a whole passf bills that if we will substantially reduce gun violence in this country. bill, h.r.a. 8, is the first step. mr. thompson, chair of the task force, many of my colleagues who are great champions of these issues. a responsibility to make sure we keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. background checks work.
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3.5 million people have been purchases prohibited from buying guns because of background checks and 22% of gun sales happen without a background check so imagine how thatgun sales happen prohibited purchasers get. so h.r.8 is the beginning but i question ton my ms. eastman. apology and your generation an apology. the adults have failed you. a founding member of mayors against illegal guns in continue to fight against this issue. we will deliver results because of the voices of young people demanded we do our job and pass common sense laws to protect you so thank you to you and all the young people here. i want to say thank you to the chief. it ask the chief and the doctor to talk a little bit about what your observations are about high capacity magazines,
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assault weapons and injuries sustained. gentleman has the expired. we'll permit one witness to answer the question. which witness? >> the doctor or the police chief. i guess the doctor. my mother wanted me to be a doctor. for that question, congressman. it's a really important one we as healthcare professionals are on the front line of seeing this day in, day out. patientsyou see these come in, you know, we're seeing of wherespectrum there's tissue that's pulverized, where there are wounds, where people are bleeding to death in front of our eyes. and medical technology is great really solution is prevention and so i think we owe it to americans to really think the operating room, to think beyond the hospitals, to common-senseent
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change. >> thank you. time of the gentleman has expired. mr. chairman, i have a unanimous consent request. state histleman will request. >> i ask unanimous consent to introduce into the record a "the washington post" article entitled "it's time to bring back the assault weapons ban, gun violence experts say." another article entitled "why can't the u.s. treat gun violence as a public health problem" and article from the "new york times," "wounds from a ghastlytyle rifles, thing to see." "gun violence explained in 17 maps and charts" seize guns from prohibited buyers at a ten-year high." >> without objection, documents into the record. resident of southwestern pennsylvania and gun owner myself, i know that what some in the room may want you to believe, the ofrwhelming majority american gun owners are hard
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working, law-abiding citizens. aree law-abiding citizens simply looking to protect their kids,es, hunt with their or put food on the table. that's why i'm strongly opposed h.r.8 and other legislation that does nothing to address the causes of gun violence, health.tal instead, focus on limiting law-abiding citizens' ability to exercise their second amendment rights. more gun bans are not going to problem.s the tragic shootings in both newtownardino and occurred in states that already an assault weapons ban in place. i was in high school when columbine occurred. the columbine high school shooting took place during the federal assault weapons ban. toe gun bans are not going solve this problem.
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i urge my colleagues across the aisle to focus on enforcing the laws we already have on the books to keep guns out of the knangof criminals, members and others who wish to do harm. the trump administration has this a top priority. in the first nine months of federal prosecution for possession of illegal firearm increased 15%. number of people charged crimesing a firearm in a improved. compare that with the obama 2010istration which in prosecuted only 44 of nearly fugitives who attempted to illegally purchase firearms. 50,000.f at the end of the day, the institution declares that gun ownership is not a privilege is just for a select reserve few but a protected and fundamental freedom guaranteed for all law-abiding citizens.
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i'm concerned about hr8 which as universal to background check bill but is the creating atowards gun registry. my friends across the aisle will point to the fact that language in the bill prohibits the creation of a national gun the u.s. department of justice has said universal background checks would only be mandatory with a registration of firearms. professor malcolm, do you think american people should be concerned that hr8 would ultimately lead to a national gun registry? i think they do and should be concerned. great britain had a national firearms and at one 1999, they banned handgunspossession of and because there was a registry, they were able to get that peopleandguns
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owned, law-abiding people who registered them. the crimes with hand guns doubled so it really did not take the guns away from people who were going to misuse it. all it did was disarmed the >> professor malcolm, in your opinion, is h.r.8 an effective way to address gun violence? so. don't think this committee obviously wants to do something that's going to make a difference and that law going to make a difference. it's just going to make it criminalizeeople, people who innocently let someone else use their gun or an extra fee in order to be able to get a gun legally transferred. >> thank you. professor malcolm. thank you, mr. chairman. of myd back the balance time. >> gentleman's time has expired. from california. >> thank you, to the chairman. andnt to thank the students parents who are here today.
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wasongressional orientation going on when sandy hook happened and i thought it was an opportunity for us to finally do something about gun violence in america. after six years from sandy hook to charleston and all the cities we've come to learn, we saw moments of silence by moments of inaction. then parkland happened. why parkland changed the way that our country started to look at this. the studentscause at marjory stoneman douglas high theol could articulate what beautiful babies at sandy hook could not, the sense of loss, shouldir belief that you have the right to learn, the right to go home and right to your classrooms and you have given us renewed hope and even though last night at the union you didn't hear one single word from the gun violenceut despite all the people in the
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gallery who lost loved ones and he brought,ple where the common tool of their firearm.a not one word. that didn't bother me because i today, firsthere historic hearing in eight years on reducing gun violence so thank you for giving us hope. to mike thompson, my colleague, who has continued to believe we can do better and background checks and i want to address an argument my colleagues keep making which is not reduce every gun violence death in america. but if absolutely true that is your standard, we should dohome and never strive to anything to make us safer in our communities but if we work to checks on,ound mental health illness, another study gun violence through research and make sure in our cities we're investing in gang prevention, if we reduce to dangerous weapons like assault rifles out of the
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hands of the most dangerous people, we can seriously reduce in our lifetime the number of families who valid to sit in the experience that loss so thank you for being here. giving us this renewed sense of hope. our lawo also thank enforcement officers for what you do every day. my brothers are cops. cop.d was a my fear every day they're out they're out gunned and i know you're here to protect the men and women sworn department. doctor, you were at the state of the union last night and i hope talk about an issue i'm passionate about, which is weapons.ban on assault i learned as a prosecutor that flies out of an assault weapon, oftentimes because of the pistol grip and can indiscriminately spray a more, you're firing a much powerful round than many weapons
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out there and you've seen on your trauma room table the differences, from what damage this does to the body. describe why an assault weapon, if someone is hit with it, is different? why we should treat those differently than perhaps other weapons? >> sure. you for the question, congressman. and thanks for your leadership. hit with ae is bullet from an assault weapon, causing damage to the structures that are actually being hit, there's also a blast effect that occurs. so there's damage to the surrounding tissue. moredamage is a lot significant than you would see with, say, a handgun, for example. and we do everything we can to try to control hemorrhage, fix damage, and save lives. but that's not always possible. thank you, doctor.
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i'll never forget a trauma and pathologist telling me when a victim, i worked on his case, he was shot in the thigh, 40 rounds, five of them. just hit once in the back of the away and thepassed experts said it was because of energy from the also, i want to ask ms. thomas -- thank you, as well, ms. thomas, for testifying. australia enacted a on assaultve buyback weapons. it was about 650,000 assault weapons. familiar with the effects after that buyback in their country when 35 people killed and 28 were wounded in 1996? >> in the port arthur massacre. following that legislation passed, there has not been a single mass shooting that has since that australia time. >> thank you. i yield back.
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>> thank you. dr. sakran, yes or no, is the extra energy and difference an assaultng hit by rifle and something else, is that because of the greater velocity of the rounds from the rival than from a normal gun? >> i think the kinetic energy is being transmitted to the body. >> because of the greater velocity? >> velocity has to do with kinetic energy, correct. >> thank you very much. mr. kline is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. been up here ae month and during the campaign i been in the legislature at the state level 15 years so had good idea of what the role of the state legislature was. know, federal level, you during the campaign, i carried around what i call the instruction manual, the
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constitution. a lot of people like to talk about it's not that it wouldn't of these massany weotings but it's that if can take steps to prevent one shooting or one more criminal from illegally purchasing a firearm, then it's doing whattially this document tells us we should not do which is infringe on the the people to keep and bear arms. so it's important to remember that this is the instruction manual and we need to keep it in talk about whether or not we're going to essentially it.ate professor,ould ask, in your remarks, you mentioned that the second amendment, the framers bequeathed to us as
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individuals the right to keep weapons for self defense and other lawful purposes. would disagree with that in that the framers didn't bequeath us that right. god has given us that right. these truths to be self-evident, that all men are equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable and these rights are to be secured by government and that's what it is this constitution is for. to my question, do you think criminals who have committed crimes and ignored the going to suddenly, follow new laws put in place that are going to prevent them from purchasing a backgroundout check? >> no but clearly they're not going to be bothered by it. thehey're not going to obey
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laws against harming people and shooting people, they're not going to be worried about trying to get a gun through a a agitimate source or following background check. it's a shame because i think this committee could do really this particular law will not really help solve this problem. >> thank you. i'm reading your testimony and would ask you a similar question. do you believe criminals who have ignored the laws -- you inmatesbout 96% of prohibited from possessing a obtained a gun, do you believe they're miraculously orderto follow a law in to violate another law? >> i believe that we need to pass h.r.8 because it will enable the existing federal law the books to be properly enforced. we currently prohibit those acquirings from
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firearms and they can easily go and buy a a gun show gun from an unlicensed seller. breaking anys not law when they transfer the gun without a background check so we're not just talking about the buyer of the gun breaking the law but creating a system where the sellers of firearms understand part of the transfer must entail a background check, as well. law thattaking the exists and making it applicable to all sales as it should be. a registry iseve necessary as part of that system? h.r.8 prohibits a registry. believe it requires a registry? >> i i don't. prohibits a registry from being created. heller waselieve correctly decided? >> i support the decisions of the supreme court. >> you think it was correctly decided? >> it overturned previous precedent and we agree there are based with the decisions
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on the interpretation of the second amendment but support the decision of the supreme court. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> mr. jeffries. andhank you, mr. chairman thank all of the witnesses for your presence here today. begin with professor malcolm. national rifle association expanding background checks to cover firearm purchases at gun shows. true? the right to life -- i didn't get the first part -- >> the n.r.a. you're familiar with that organization, correct? >> the n.r.a., yes. >> they oppose background checks show loophole,n true? >> there's almost no gun show loophole. they do not want a registry want -- make it more cumbersome for people -- >> people -- >> you oppose expanding the
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background check requirement for gun show purchases, true? >> we're not just talking about gun shows. talking about making people in private sales have to go through background checks and making the system more cumbersome. asking you specifically about gun shows. do you support expanding background checks to cover gun shows or not? >> there's almost no need for that. >> i take that as a no. thank you. in terms of expanding background theks for gun sales on internet, the n.r.a. opposes background checks to cover such sales. true? >> i'm really not privy to all theseir decisions on things. >> ok. you oppose background checks as to internet gun show sales, true? >> i would like -- can i just see theould like to background checks that we now properly and it is not
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because too many people are not check whot background ought to be. >> now, you are the patrick henry professor of constitutional law and the second amendment at george mason university. is that right? >> yes. to say thisr position is bought and paid for by the n.r.a.? >> i don't know. ok. this position was created in 2003. true? know what the background is but i will say that george mason university has very conscious of being sure that any contributions to law school for any particular positions don't have any strings attached and you can check with the prosecutors -- procedures for that. >> when the position was created, it was the direct result of a one million dollar endowment from the national rifle association, correct? >> i was not at george mason university in 2002. i really don't know the
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answer to that. you have more information about than i do. >> the n.r.a. foundation has continued to give money to the school, is that right? if --ssume so you think that is funny. >> this is not a laughing matter. the gun violence epidemic that we have in america. to me ask you knows consent enter into the record the forms from the nra foundation for the -- through 2016. objection. >> the foundation gave $100,000 to the law school in connection with the position that you hold for second amendment study, correct? >> a prism they did but they did not have anything to do with my job. penny more for
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having that. >> you arrived in 2013. >> in 2006. i did not have the chair until later. >> that is correct, in 2013, is that correct? >> yes. >> the nra foundation gave $100,000 to the george mason adversity lawsuit -- law school for second amendment study. the nra foundation gave $100,000 to the law school for special grants other than studies related to the second amendment, true? >> they have not subsidized anything i have done. i was hired, i was given this chair because i had done serious work on the legal and constitutional backdrop of the second amendment. >> what was found is the nra gave $1 million to endow the position that you now hold,
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hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last several years, and the problem is, we can have a legitimate debate about how to deal with the gun violence epidemic but it is hard to have that legitimate debate when the nra functions as holding others who are supposedly participating in this debate like they are holy ounces 30 years. -- wholly-owned subsidiaries. the position you hold is funded by the national rifle association. i yield back. germans time has expired. there is a vote on the floor, there are two votes on the floor, six minutes and 46 260 threemaining, people not having voted. the committee will stand in recess until after the second vote in this series which will be in about 15 minutes. members of the audience, there is no crowd outside so you will
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not give up your seat if you walk out. [gavel] [indistinct conversations] [gavel] >> the committee will come to order and continue with questioning the witnesses.
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gentlemanse does the seek recognition? >> there were some discussion orcerning the effectiveness lack of effectiveness about who or who may not have received funds. every witness will come representing who they represent and some of the witnesses would not have been called if they had not been participants in the political process for your side of the aisle or possibly mine. throwing that out there especially the witnesses or other members implying that something changes for them, i think we need to be very careful , otherwise we can start admitting the records of donations from groups that are trying to get [indiscernible] we need to keep this on a level questioningthout
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the motives or the trajectory of the motive. with that, a -- i yield back. recognizing the gentleman from north dakota, mr. armstrong. >> thank you. and my never ending quest to educate people about the way we live in north dakota, earlier this morning i was explaining we are the only state without voter registration. in the quest to solve problems and other areas we make it more difficult to do things in my state. i will continue on that a little bit here and i will talk about it is obvious and to someone who has spent his entire life hunting and whether it is bow hunting, upland game hunting or big game hunting that why people write exceptions to laws like this, we do it in a way that does not take into account the rural nature of
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places where i live. north dakota is a beautiful place, i invite anyone to come there when they can, probably not today, it is 35 below wind chills. when we talk about how we designate exceptions to this bill we are talking about exclusively at shooting ranges, galleries, or other designated areas. the noble goal of trying to end gun filings and other areas, i want everyone to be aware that we are creating felons out of and farm kid in north dakota. we do not have designated shooting ranges, we do not have shooting galleries. a rifle tour buddy shoot in a stubblefield field prior to them going hunting or whether it is pheasant or deer or any of those areas. when we are dealing with these issues, i want to make it clear that we are also creating significant burdens on a way of life to the midwest population,
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not just north dakota. i want to thank congress were a couple things and i can do that because i was not here when this hast so it is not self gratifying. selfis past so it is not gratifying. this is how we approach it, what we do with our law enforcement and state policy is absolutely go after prohibited people. we do everything we can to make sure law-abiding citizens can use their second amendment rights and we continually work with domestic violence groups, law enforcement to ensure that prohibited people do not have access to the firearms they are supposed to and the act was pro-secondven as amendment status north dakota, we have utilized. and also the setup school programsact provided
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that are utilized now. our rural's girls -- rural schools were built in the 50's and it is not a matter of whether we have a school resource officer in one school and the community, we often do not have law enforcement that can respond within 45 minutes of some of our towns. these grants help us provide these safety into scenarios in which they exist at that point. i would like to thank congress for those i would argue that the concealed carry reciprocity act which has not gone through the senate is a way to help deter more gun crime. finally, as someone who has practiced, and all defense in federal court -- criminal defense in federal court, we should be careful about the number of adjectives we use in the criminal code. outside of any partisanship or anything else, when we use a lot
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they tend to be litigated in front of 12 people very extensively. i have one question for ms. thomas and you were talking to congressman kline earlier, you're talking about this being an important act and without a registry, it does not matter. under president obama's administration they received a white paper and it says these gun laws do not work without a national registry. --h the obama administration was the obama administration wrong? >> i am not sure what you're asking but if your question is whether or not it is appropriate to pass hr eight without a register, yes, it is incumbent on us to pass even though it for him it's a registry from being formed because it will encompass a large majority of background checks on gun sales than what we have in place now. mild criminal defense attorney might is coming in
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place, without the registry, how is it and forcible? >> every sale and transfer requires a background check. when guns are recovered at crimes it will be easier to discover of guns had a background check and to trace them back to their source and it would be easy to know if there was no background check conducted. >> i would ask for unanimous consent to offer this summary of select strategies by gregg ridgeway into the record. >> without objection. >> i yield back my time. >> thank you. i recognize the derailment from raskin., mr. >> thank you. i want to recognize my wonderful constituent andrea who is here today, she lost her husband john mcnamara and the terrible massacre that took place in
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annapolis. he was a reporter and a celebrated editor of the capital gazette. thank you for joining us and you stand for hundreds who have lost family members and friends and hundreds of thousands who are begging us to do something. thank you for this hearing which is extraordinary, it is the first hearing on gun violence in more than eight years in the house and in that time, we have mountingonly the daily gruesome death toll in every community across america where 96 people die from guy in -- gun areence everyday and 246 shot and wounded, where eight children or teens die from gun violence everyday and where 39 young people are shot and wounded. over the last eight years, we have seen six of the 10 worst gun massacres in the history of massacre the las vegas with 58 dead, the pulse nightclub with 49, sandy hook,
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20 kids, and six grown-ups, stoneman douglas, 17 adults and on. to the wonderful people who have assembled here and taking time off from school and work to come to bear witness to the people you have lost in your lives, your the repositories, the memories of your loved ones, but we are the repository of the legislative memories of what has happened, what has happened here. we must never forget, i have only been here for two years but i want to tell you in that time, i saw several of those massacres including the biggest massacre and the stoneman douglas massacre and we have not had a single hearing on the universal background check and we have hearings with diamond and silk to talk about imaginary offenses online and they brought us to bills, the aforementioned concealed carry reciprocity act, a complete miss owner -- misnomer, it would demolish every state concealed carry law so if you can get a gun in the
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most permissive state in the union which is still florida where 1.5 million have the right to carry a loaded, concealed weapon, then you can go anywhere in the country. they brought us one other bill which was to legalize silencers in america. commonunds not like a sense public safety agenda. that sounds like a mafia agenda. to legalize silencers across the country. that is what we have dealt with in this committee which is why today is such a remarkable breath of fresh air and why americans across the country are representatives with hope. is backedound check by the vast majority of republicans and democrats, independents, gun owners, everyone thinks you should not be able to purchase a firearm if you cannot pass a simple check so we are screening out felons and fugitives, people who are
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unstable, undocumented aliens, these are the people that we are trying to catch and what do we hear from the other side? this punishes law-abiding people, you should go after the criminals. that is what we are trying to do, we are trying to keep them from getting guns in the first place. we are trying to close the loopholes. ofare hearing there is a lot second amendment verbiage floating around and yet, i have yet to hear a single argument that this legislation is unconstitutional. not one. the distinguished ranking member of the committee was offended by the journal of dust element -- s questioning. if you are not interested to determine the source of income for her chairmanship, that's go to the content of professor malcolm's testimony. fellow professor in constitutional law's who i was
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excited for your testimony. before i was a member of congress i loved being able to do legal analysis and bring it to congress and say here is what my understanding is. i searched for any legal analysis of hr eight and i am wondering, have you written a separate legal analysis because this is more of a policy statement. >> i have not written in -- an analysis of this bill and i i resent the say assertion that i ma wholly-owned subsidiary. >> i did not say that. let me go to this question. do you have an opinion as the second amendment chair holder at the george mason school of law, do you have a legal opinion even without an analysis as to the constitutionality of hr 8? >> i have a legal opinion that it is the constitutional right
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associated with the instant background check is constitutional. it does not work for a well. saying the legislation before us is constitutional. do you agree? that this is perfectly constitutional? >> i am not a lawyer and i am here is a trauma surgeon. we currently have licensing that is evaluating people for background checks, this is weked about and making sure close those loopholes and expand that to the rest of the public. >> it does not deny anyone the right to access a gun who has a second amendment right. notdecision was upheld is eligible because they may be mentally defective or felons are fugitives and so on. that is your understanding. i yield back. thank you.
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>> thank you. now recognizing the lady -- gentlelady from washington. the gentleman from california. >> thank you. i want to thank you for holding this most important hearing and i want to thank all the young people in the audience. this is your day, i am glad you're here in force to show that you care about this issue. a lot of you here have been painfully touched personally by a lost you to gun violence and thank you also for being here. i think the panelists also for your expert testimony. and i want to thank you as well for your bravery for being here to tell us about that horrible experience of yours, half dozen years ago, my wife was attacked, mugged and like in your situation, someone came up kind her and grabbed her -- behind her and grabbed her answer her
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down and beat her up. for many months, i was there hering, helping her nurse ones, not only the physical but the emotional that she still carries. we do not wish that on anybody. very tough issue here. professor malcolm, you are right, this has made it more expensive for someone to purchase a weapon. the bureaucratic issues involved are going to slow down the process. bill, back tothis my district. where i have had to attend many funerals, way too many funerals of young people, very young teenagers being the victims of gang violence. and as i think about your testimony, is that, is this bill going to stop somebody from buying a gun illegally? >> i cannot see how it will. i do not think it does.
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>> i do not think it does. today,ink about society what goes on in our streets, i am going to come back to said, thethat was question in my mind is, will this legislation save a life? will it save one life? when i have constituents that have been touched, who have been hurt by gun violence, my question is, is this bill going to save one life or many lives? all?ne at >> thank you for the question. this bill will definitely save lives, there is no doubt. keepbill -- it does not guns out of the hands of law-abiding americans of sound
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mind. it will make it more difficult for those who use these loopholes at gun shows, on the internet, straw purchasers, that are driven by greed that they go out and purchase these firearms and then sell them to those crooks. it will make it more difficult for the bad guys, we will support the good guys with guns, we will talk about other good guys with guns, we need to talk about what do we do to keep guns out of the bad guys with guns? that is what this bill will do. that is why the major city chiefs have been vocal, the mayors have been vocal, prosecutors have been vocal. i will tell you to the folks who are in our emergency rooms, thanks to the quality of the medicine we have today, and itages gun violence is more horrifying than we experience. you are in your lane, stay in
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your lane which is saving lives, not selling guns. >> the same question. both of you have been on the beat, you are where the rubber meets the road, you have seen that violence. will this legislation save lives? >> thank you for your question, sir, and our primary responsibility is the i standtion of life and arm in arm with the chief, i believe we will save lives. >> this legislation is a major step forward in keeping guns away from those who are not qualified to own a gun. i yield. >> thank you. mr. richmond. is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. two people said
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none of these bills will do anything to save a life. with look at the poll, that not have prevented the perpetrator from purchasing a gun? what? >> the charleston loophole, if your background check does not come back in 72 hours, you can automatically can purchase a firearm. in his case his background check came back after four days and what came back was -- prevented him from being able to buy a gun which in my mind would have massacre them -- the and the loss of nine lives. my question is, closing that loophole would have saved nine lives. that one case, probably it would but there are very few people like that now who go through the whole process. knowing that they are planning to misuse a firearm.
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>> he had a bad address. that if youtell me go and give a little bit of bad information like an incorrect address that may delay the background check from coming the, the goal is for background check to come back after 72 hours and you can purchase your gun. also, people like to point out the assault weapons ban and what effect that had. let me tell you what effect it had because i was young in those days and i lived in the high streets during the 90's. made the price of an as he go up from $400 to $1500. that person may have had for -- $400 but not 1500. the delay in time in which he could get his hands on a gun legally or illegally which happened -- allowed for a cooling time to happen.
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many people said this may put a burden on lawful gun owners, of which i am one. when i went to purchase my gun, i did not need it immediately. if i had to wait two days, that was ok. the person who needs a gun right then and there is probably the person we do not want with a gun right then and there. just remind this committee of what i believe was a missed opportunity in 1990, the same time when the streets were hot because of crack cocaine. this body, this committee, this congress decided that it would epidemic crack cocaine in a different way. that it would find the cure to it and -- in mass incarceration. what we did not do is treat it as a substance abuse problem that it was. we declared it a health epidemic
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in -- had we declared it a health epidemic in 1990, we would have had clinics and infrastructure across this country and the opioid victims we see today would have a place to go because we would have responded correctly in 1990. the question is, why am i saying that? we haven't opioid epidemic. the president declared it a public health crisis. year, opioids, we lost 14,000 individuals, synthetic opioids, 28,000. heroin, 15,000. it is a health epidemic. last year we lost 39,000 people to gun violence. becomes let's assume our role. what harm is there in trying to
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figure out the link between guns start -- whatce, is wrong with letting people study it and come back to us with recommendations, that is what we are doing with the opioid epidemic. i do not want us to come here in 20 years like i am doing now when someone is saying they had a chance to remove the amendment, allow nih and cdc and didrts to study it but they not do it because the pressure was too hot and 20 years later, we're going down a road where we are losing so many kids. please tell me, what is the harm in studying it? >> guns are not a disease. they should be studied by people who are law enforcement, who know more about crime on the streets, all the other kinds of possibilities and also, there is a constitutional right for ordinary people to protect
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themselves with firearms. there is no right to have an opioid. it is a terrible epidemic. but doctors are not the best ones to study best solutions for gun control. what i would like to see on this committee or the congress has taken it up in the past is something more done to help people who are dangerously mentally ill. i think that would be a tremendous help because most of the people who have committed these mass murders are people who need some kind of help. health dismantled our establishment and not really put anything very good in its place. it is not a very sexy subject, it would be a tremendous help. >> can i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record and annotation from the testimony where is his firearm injury and
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death is not only a disease, a reference is what i would like , bynter into the record learner, gun violence, a bio. >> without objection. >> thank you. i want to start by saying thank you to all of you, it has been a long day but i want to thank those of you in the audience who are survivors of gun violence, who are family members, i want to thank you for your excellent testimony. the reality is my you are putting this issue on the map and i am so deeply grateful for that. i have two before i get into my malcolms say, professor , with all due respect, seatbelts were not considered a public health crisis, cigarettes were not either read we took on
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smoking and seatbelts and that is what we need to do with gun violence. every day we know 109 people are -- killed by gun violence, hundreds more are injured and i wanted to call attention to the fact that every 16 hours, a woman is killed i an abuser with a firearm. in the u.s., 445 million women have been threatened by an abuser with a firearm. i am proud to be from washington state where we have consistently passed some of the most sweeping gun reform pieces of legislation and initiatives including comprehensive background checks in 2014, in 2016, allowing courts to issue extreme risk protection orders that many of you have spoken about and in 2018, raising the legal age to purchase a semi automatic rifle to 21 and requiring safe storage. and twice 14, we passed a law allowing courts to ask domestic violence perpetrators to surrender their firearms when judges determine they are a credible threat.
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enforcementregional unit that collected over 466 firearms in 2018, potentially saving the lives of countless survivors of domestic violence and others. i read that i read said that we possession of firearms could lead to the government repossessing everything such as fire extinguishers, that slippery slope argument is a tremendous disturbance. i want to give you a chance to tell me if you believe that possessing firearms from people under court order to surrender their firearms will result in them repossessing fire extinguishers. >> i do not believe that. no. >> you have asserted that women should carry guns for their own protection because the government cannot protect everybody.
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people have to be able to protect themselves, is that right? >> yes. as, do youurn to you agree with professor malcolm's position that victims of domestic violence will be safer if they have guns? to point to the national statistics on this. they said.y what what about the notion that if women were armed they would be safer? in a survey of women in a , --ter onlyother national study, handguns neither increased nor decreased abused women's risk of being killed by a partner. a third study showed that among
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california purchases of handguns, women who purchased increase of 50% risk of homicide all that could be contributed to homicide by an intimate partner. >> i'm psy. i am running out of time. that is just what i was looking for. let me ask a question. year, when we became the first state in the country to to have people at risk of suicide to temporarily ,uspend their use of a firearm do you think that there is more that we should be doing to prevent suicide by firearm? >> thank you for that question. this is an important piece. it has been glossed over.
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most firearm deaths are from suicide. people keep dismissing that. it is a violent death that people commit to themselves. when you look at the health care not see a we often do lot of these victims because they are going straight to the morgue. there is such a case fatality rate that exists when you try to commit suicide using a firearm versus if you are taking pills and trying to overdose. absolutely, we should be doing more. our community needs to be involved in that process. different pieces of legislation like in washington are useful. lookingld back and i am forward to more work on this >> it has been eight
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years and hundreds of thousands of lives lost to gun violence since the last time congress held a hearing on this issue. ofressing the epidemic nonviolence come to grassroots demand for action has taken root and is well represented here today. we are at a critical moment where we can save the lives of thousands of americans. if we can, i think that we must. this is a public health crisis. as the gentleman from maryland and florida pointed out come the common sense measures all pass constitutional muster, even under the restrictive reading by the late justice scalia. i grew up where gun ownership was common. a family of hunters who understood the value of safe gun policies.
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those are not the individuals we are talking about today. we are talking about background checks to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and gun traffickers. keeping illegal guns out of our community. how we can keep guns out of the hands of those who represent a danger to themselves or others. we need a multifaceted approach to address a multipronged health program. one with the depth of its impact on american could legitimately be declared a national emergency. it is a problem that demands a research-based and data-driven response as suggested by law enforcement and medical professionals who have testified here today. i want to take a moment to address two of my constituents here today carrying their personal tragedies. beverly wright lost her son to
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random nonviolence when he was just 23 years old. she has started support groups for families in my district who has been impacted by gun violence. i was struck last night and again this morning when beverly and other families of gun violence victims greeted each other with hugs, as if they were close associates. then i realized that is exactly what they are. they are members of an ever-growing club that nobody wants to be a member of. i want to thank them for their tireless act make sure that their group does not keep growing. my other guest is malcolm yates who was just seven years old when he survived a shooting at a philadelphia shooting still -- candy store that claimed the life of his five-year-old brother. he has started a foundation and community center and his brother's name and has become a community activist.
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were my guests at the state of the union address last night. some refuse to acknowledge that thoughts and prayers after shootings are not enough, that gun violence has become a constant into many of our communities, and visit -- invading our places of worship and our schools. it is time for our collective outrage to drive common sense gun legislation. before i get to my questions, i want to echo my colleagues in thanking you for having this and for thinking our witnesses for sharing their stories and expertise. is in southeastern pennsylvania. we are impacted by what some call the iron pipeline. they travel to our city streets
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in pennsylvania. can you tell us how better tracking can help prevent this phenomenon and decrease gun violence? i think universal laws that i talked about earlier and strengthening those federal laws is the way. i think that is the way to keep everybody safe, as i mentioned earlier. >> how can the federal government, including the atf the more involved and active in stemming the problem of gun trafficking? how can we help local law enforcement? >> can you move the other microphone over there, perhaps?
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>> say about that. thank you. need to get atf up and running. among lawpen secret enforcement circles that congress has handcuffed the atf. ingress is interested avoiding gun violence, we need to properly fund the atf and increase the number of agents on the ground. they are a phenomenal partner and i think they are underappreciated. i do not think the american people know what a great asset that organization is and how much they are being underutilized. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the audience. we started at 10:00 and here we
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are. or five hours, so thank you for hanging out with the. thank you so much for sharing. i know it takes a lot of courage to come before us and share your stories. please know that we are all genuinely touched and we stand with you in trying to make changes in the areas that you talked about. geez, i want to start with you. i know this is not an immigration hearing, although it began to sound like one earlier. there was a comment made about , a word that i find very offensive. implied that every unauthorized immigrant in this country starts by going to get a gun and committing a crime. i know you track a lot of this.
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inld you tell us, speaking terms of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants versus nonimmigrants? >> thank you. i was starting to think it was an immigration hearing earlier. . thought i was being forgotten let me be clear. every study that we have seen will show that undocumented immigrants are under represented . most individuals are here to seek a better way of life like everyone one of our ancestors. attributed them to undocumented immigrants. including mass shooting events between june 2015 and january 2019.
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it included 41 mass shootings s killed.american to my knowledge, i do not think a single one of those shooters were undocumented immigrants. , undocumentedat immigrants should not be able to possess or purchase guns. by not supporting this legislation, we are not only making it easier for non-not -- for undocumented immigrants who actually pray on other immigrants and others from getting firearms. we want to keep firearms out of the hands of undocumented immigrants. we know that you will not keep them all out, so we need to do everything we can to keep ofearms in the hands americans of sound mind. >> now to the doctor.
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i read in your testimony that billionested about 221 in economic cost to the medical health care system in dealing with the violence and the trauma. i must tell you that i signed up for a dr. for the day program at the hospital in houston. it is a world known trauma center. i got to be in the surgery room when a gunshot victim came in. i watched the whole surgery. i did not faint. i got through it. what is the economic impact? much is it per victim that comes in? >> thank you for that question. i'm glad that you had the
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opportunity to experience what we are seeing every day when it comes to these gunshot wound victims. isthe -- if the human impact not enough, there is an economic impact. it is very difficult to narrow down. we did a study just published last year that essentially found that the cost is about $2.8 billion. this is just the cost of patients that are coming to the hospital after having been shot. when you look at the societal cost, that is even more tremendous. over 220 --gures $200 billion out there. it is hard to narrow that down because there are a lot of things that you need to take into factor, other societal aspects.
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it is a significant economic impact to our system. is also an economic issue. >> absolutely. some of those figures are more than our department and administrations are spending when you look at the department of education and so forth. think about that for a second the economicut funds that are going to waste, not to mention people not being able to integrate into society. >> thank you for staying in your name. thank you, mr. chairman for hosting this and thank you to the witnesses and survivors, the many people gathered here today, the young folks and activist. 70 people that have been highlighted in this issue, we appreciate your activism.
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i want to make sure i recognize a constituent of mine back home, the founder of moms demand action. she has let on this issue for so many years and i am proud to represent hers and so many others in colorado that have been touched by this issue. as i mentioned, i have the honor of representing colorado. we had multiple, countless tragedies of gun violence in our state. some people mentioned columbine high school which killed 15. the shooting in the movie theater in aurora, colorado along with countless others, every day, incidence of gun violence. the shooting in columbine, i was 14 years old. it is not my story that i want to share today. there are survivors who have
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waited quite some time to have their experiences heard and acknowledged with true recognition given. was killed in the columbine shooting. age, 15 years my old, at the time. april 20 march gospel mark the 20th anniversary. i spoke to daniel's father yesterday. he recounted the story to me, that two weeks before the tragedy, 15-year-old daniel asked his father a question at the dinner table reflecting on a question in his debate class. he said did you know there are loopholes in the brady bill? killedeeks later, he was by a gun purchased through one of those loopholes. his father remains haunted by that question today. he has committed his life to
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championing this issue ever since his son's death. shoes to talkn's with me saying that he had taken his son's place in the debate against gun violence. haveny other states, they followed suit closing the loopholes. we need to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, get 20 years later, we had the federal level has done nothing towards this issue. i am so grateful to the sponsors , representative thompson, leading on this issue. with that, i want to ask a question around extreme risk protection orders and red flag orders. as some people may know, my home state will soon take up similar legislation and i support that
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legislation, hoping that we can support that in this committee. state that has enacted similar legislation, could use to some of the impacts and has had in your state? this past year, maryland just got the extreme risk attractive order and the importance of getting that -- it gives law enforcement officers and other individuals the option of getting protective orders, whereas in the past, it was limited to certain family members and individuals who were married to a person. otherwise, it would have to be a piece order. that was very important. the other thing, law enforcement see certain behaviors, they can then go and get a protective
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order for that individual and they can get the weapons from the home. >> with that, i would like to yield the rest of my time come with your approval, to my colleague. her story is one that we need to hear and we want to make sure that she has ample time to do so. >> thank you very much to my colleague. during testimony, just a couple weeks ago, attorney general nominee said these words. he said we need to push along extreme risk protection orders so that we have these laws to supplement the use of background checks to find out if someone has a mental disturbance. this is the single most important thing that we can do in the gun control area to stop these mass shootings from happening in the first place. i would like to say that senator graham and blumenthal introduced a bipartisan law in the senate last year that i also plan to
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develop and house with my colleagues, hopefully very soon. >> the judgments time is expired, but i will recognize you for your time. >> thank you very much. do you agree with the attorney general nominee that it should be a top priority for gun prevention? i do agree that extremist protective order laws are very important. there are several states that already have them. ie ones that do not, just as mentioned earlier, with those federal laws, we need to become consistent as a country and get those laws into effect across the nation. i do think it is very important. mr. chairman.
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thank you. florida already has a law in place after their daughter was murdered. this was the couple that i spent time with last night at the state of the union address. potentialve in the alongside officer training and more research into authentic congress -- how can support the implementation of extremist law? one thing that is important to recognize, passing the legislation is one piece, but breathing education and awareness that is actually present is another. beenuld have potentially enforced. had these laws and
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they have been used in the past to prevent suicide and other forms of gun violence. we have other states like aftert, where two months the parkland massacre, when it was implemented, they actually fromed and 18-year-old kid proceeding with a mass shooting that was going to happen at a high school. issing the legislation important, but ensuring that we are raising awareness about it and people understand it, that they know how to proceed is very critical. >> thank you. i'm society. i was out of the room when you gave your testimony and i apologize for not having been here. i would like to thank you for your bravery. i cannot tell you how important your being here and gun violence
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survivors, for being here. i want to give you another chance to speak if you had anything else to say because your voice is extremely critical and we need to hear more from you. >> i do believe it is important to continue to have hearings like this and i urge you guys have this hearing again to address gun violence in urban communities because that has not been touched upon nearly enough during this hearing today. we cannot continue to have hearings and not address those issues, so i urge you to have another one, particularly for gun violence and marginalized communities. thank you. >> mr. chairman, i yield back my time. >> i recognize the gentleman from arizona for five minutes. >> thank you very much. give for holding this hearing
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today. it is my honor to serve on this committee and sit next to congress on death -- congresswoman mcbeth. honor the victims of gun violence and honor the family and friends of victims of gun violence. thise i joined distinguished board, i spent years as mayor of phoenix, arizona. there are a lot of challenges in that job and even a few fears. there is nothing that i fear more than when i get a call of a mass shooting in my city. we were lucky in phoenix. other communities were not. aurora, newtown, charleston and verna -- bernadino. las vegas. parkland. pittsburgh. the list goes on and on. it pains me that between the
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time when the first shot rang bodyt newtown today, this has not held a single hearing, not a single hearing on what we can do to reduce gun violence until today. the american people deserve better. my community, like every american community is not immune from gun violence. my darkest and hardest days as mayor were delivered at the hand of gun violence. police officers were murdered by those who should not have had a gun. women and children were gunned down in acts of domestic violence by someone who should not have had a gun. i have mourned with family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence. i have worked alongside survivors and advocate whose lives have been torn apart and stitched back together again after encountering their worst fears. our nation stops when there is a
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mass shooting. here is the cold reality. gun violence happens every single day in america. it takes lives every single day. commonplacee so that it does not make headlines. we are here today to examine a public health crisis in our nation. i have met with people from all walks of life from both sides of the aisle. they all agree that we must do ,omething to stop this violence to stop innocent people from dying. alikeats and republicans respect gun rights and are in favor of common sense gun laws. not competing values. 97% of americans support background checks for every gun sale.
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that means gun owners, republicans -- they all support background checks and that support is overwhelming. background checks on all gun sales on the back bone. for me, this is where we come together to make a difference. been tocult as it has hear the powerful testimony from our witnesses today, we have a responsibility to listen and to not look away. we need to use these experiences together. too many guns are being used against innocent people and too many ill-gotten guns are being used against innocent people. we must put a stop to it. that is why this hearing is important to me. it is very important. i have time for maybe one or two questions. about the act to
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fix -- the attempt to fix the act. i want to do it before this committee on how they will help to fix some of the loopholes. problem is -- part of the problem is background checks. where it is areas called private sales, but it is not just private sales. it is any sale by someone who chooses not to be a licensed dealer. we certainly know that they are happening through online sales. we know that they are happening at gun shows. there are tables saying no background check required where unlicensed dealers sell their guns. they can be sold out of the trunk of the car in most states. this log requires that whether you are a private seller or you
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are at a gun show -- all of those happen through a licensed dealer and include a background check. it will help to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous peopleant steps. enforcing something like an extreme risk protective order requires universal background checks because without that in place, it is difficult to keep individuals from acquiring new guns. it is the floor that allows us -- tok at the other ways keep our community safer. >> thank you so much. >> the time has expired. >> thank you. want to join my colleagues in saying that today is the day of action and it is a day of extraordinary hope. i want to thank all of you for being here and for those who do not know, there is an overflow room of other members who came, activists, family members, who
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came and they wanted to be part of this. i want to thank you for remaining all these hours. i think about it and the time of our work in this day and from the time we got up this morning until the time we go to bed tonight, another 300 people in this country will be shot, wounded, or killed. of gunple today will die violence as we do our work or fail to do our work. 200 more will be wounded, literally caught in the crossfire. not just today, that is yesterday and tomorrow and yet, last night my we listened to a state of the union address by the leader of the free world, the leader of this great democracy that mentioned nothing about gun violence. about the scourge of gun violence, that wounds are killed 120,000 people a year. it is starting at for somebody to have testified that there has
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violenceall uptick in and in gun deaths, when two years ago, there were 33,000 people who died of gun violence. last year it was 40,000 people died, more than have to suicide. i do not call that a small uptick, it is -- if it is one more it is not a small of take it is my family member. i want to thank my guests who came with me last night, ms. a freshman at was columbine that hateful day and she described the fear and the sounds, the haunting hiding and trying to figure out where was a safe haven and she is now a young mother of three and an advocate and i am proud of you, here is why. as abraham lincoln said, public sentiment is everything. with public sentiment, nothing
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can fail. without it, nothing can succeed. public sentiment is on our side and i thank you for holding this hearing. i think the champion, chairman thompson, i want to thank you for saying this is -- you said this is the most important issue facing our generation. may this body. , pass this legislation, send it to the president and begin to save lives. we must show that we care, we must act as though we care, i am mystified that this -- my colleagues instead of approaching this hearing today by saying you are right, we have a problem, what can we do about it? saying this isre not a good move, you will not save any lives. let me tell you how background checks save lives and as a end, i want to pivot to the chief and the major to talk about the
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efficacy of background checks. let me tell you the numbers of lives saved, pennsylvania. as we know, nearly 40,000 people work gold -- were killed by guns in 2017 1600 took place in my state. 91 of those lives were lost in my single district. onlypennsylvania have not a system but we have a robust overlay. i will ask at the end of my time for unanimous consent to put in a report of the 2017 annual ofort showing the efficacy the system. here's some of the numbers. 1998en its inception in and this is run by the pennsylvania state police, heroically, frankly with such duty and care. since its inception till 2017, --re afford -- it referred
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it was responsible for more than 7000 arrests, almost 4000 convictions as a result of prohibited purchasers attempting to purchase and failing background checks and of those, they have been responsible for the apprehension of 2200 individuals with active arrest warrants. for those who would have you believe the bad guys are never gun, to go try to buy a nonsense. utter nonsense. the good news about the system also is it does not suffer the charleston loophole. instead of a default when we cannot get an answer of yes or now, a default to, we will send you -- to sell you the gun as interest in, the default is to know. andng said those things, being so proud this committee will do something about this, this congress will do something about this and it is because of
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all of you, i wanted to ask you please when you comment on the efficacy of robust and complete back down check systems. these dashedlly gentlelady's time has expired. >> i would say that in states where we have robust regulation like pennsylvania that have moved to fill the lawsuits -- loopholes, we are seeing a greater reduction in gun violence and gun injuries. when you look at states with strong laws you see much lower gun death rates, states with weaker laws have hired gun death rates. we know that when states like pennsylvania and others take action to feel those the polls, gun violence and death are reduced. we need a federal system that ofs not create a patchwork laws, something like hr 8 feels the gap. we do need that federal law but in the meantime without it,
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states are taking action and seeing positive results. >> thank you. seek unanimous consent to enter into the record the pennsylvania chexsystems report. >> without objecting -- objection, the report will be entered into the record. the generally these time has expired. >> thank you. thank you for holding such a critical hearing. i think it has been long overdue , the first hearing discussing the effects of gun violence in over a decade. thank you to all the witnesses for being here with us this afternoon. some of you may already know the issue of gun violence is deeply personal to me. and unfortunately, it is very personal for too many americans now. gun violence is the leading cause of death in american children. i want all of us to think about that just for one moment. for more children died in this
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country because of a bullet than because of cancer. victim of guna violence. when i was 24 years old, i received a phone call. i was getting my masters degree, to be told that my father had been shot and killed i occur in a with a gun. when we that i feel discussed this issue here today, when i hear the news of the mass shootings in parkland or orlando, vegas, it is there. my father never had the chance to walk me down the aisle. children, and i want all of you to know that when i took the oath of office, a promise that i would
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not stop until we finally passed common sense gun reform. because i owe it to my father, , to so many sisters parents that have lost their and --n in my trinity, in my community, and i/o it to all of you today. tragices people say this -- tragedy happened and why should that matter in the context of gun violence here in the u.s. and i can tell you why. the trauma inflicted upon the same, nolways matter where you are in the world. -- by our own personal experiences. my family was devastated in were many family members in my community. i want to remind all of you and
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tell you a little bit about someone that lost his life in my community. parnell williams thomas was only two years old. when he was playing outside of his apartment complex building. he was shot and killed by a stray bullet. dayt his parents who, every more and the loss of their toddler. the mother knowing that every year that passes she will never be able to see him going to elementary school, graduating from middle school, high school. there are so many steps that we can take to address this across the country. universal background checks will not prevent all but they are a very important first step. i know that somehow, it is
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changing because when i see all of you here today, i know that finally, we are going to be able to pass commonsense gun reforms. answer too briefly some of the comments i have heard here that are extremely offensive and insulting. i know that some people believe that the criminals that are killing and committing all these murders are immigrants. i am in an -- i am an and or grant -- an immigrant. immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crimes in u.s. born citizens. whether documented or undocumented. and i also want to remind that we need to be respectful of those who have lost their lives to gun violence. two people in parkland who are immigrants. [inaudible] joaquin oliver.
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i would like to ask missed,, if you could just elaborate on, i know you have done research on this topic. on the increase of mass shootings with assault weapons after the ban was lifted. you can talk to me about that research. >> i will briefly say that if you look at high fertility mass shootings which are mass shootings of six people are or more, in the years after the expiration of the assault weapons ban in 2004, high fatality mass shooting injuries when up by more than 200%. mass shootings during the ban those were down by almost 40%. difficult tot is measure the impact on a one by one basis, if you look at the shootings that are the most simple -- impactful, there are
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differences in those numbers have continued to rise year after year. we are seeing more of these shootings as these lethal proliferate. >> the time of the gentlelady has expired. that the uc davis -- on study entitled suicide rates in california be admitted. >> without objection, the document will be admitted to the record. >> thank you. according to the center for disease control's latest figures, 109 people died of gun violence every day. that comes out to nine people every two hours since this -- and since this hearing got started, over 23 people in
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america has gotten shot and killed by guns. aree people were killed in bowling alley in my hometown. in 2017 in las vegas, the mass shooting, a number of my constituents were killed. it does not have to be this way. and all of us are entitled to our opinions. i think you here for your advocacy and the witnesses for being here. when we legislate we should do it on fact. i am going to talk about some studies and put them into the record. at uc davisearch and john hopkins held a study where they found that the right to carry and stand your ground law's are associated with increases in firearm homicide. while permit to purchase laws have an associate -- associations with increases. in 2014, researchers found
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[indiscernible] that the law was associated with a 25% increase in firearm homicides. researchers at new york cornell medical center found that strong state firearm policies were associated with lower homicide rates and strong interstate policies were associated with lower homicide rates. they found strong firearm policies were associated with lower suicide rates as well. 2017, researchers at duke university did a study where they analyzed connecticut's extreme risk law and found for every 10 or 20 risk warrants issued one suicide -- homicide was prevented. >> without objection, documents will be entered into the record. >> of of these studies do mention suicide and if you look
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at the overwhelming number of gun deaths they occur because of suicide. three in five gun deaths are the result of suicide and my first question is to you, i went to see if you had a solution of how we could better address people being killed by suicide by gun. >> thank you for that question. we are looking for deaths in general to wake up these different populations. suicide deaths are primarily an older white male and in this population, there is an association from a mental health perspective. some of the stuff we are hearing about access to mental health is theect and it is true, but way we have to approach this and think about this is from a systems perspective. we cannot just have one solution. another aspect is the extreme risk protection order policies
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we have been talking about. enabling families and law enforcement to be proactive in preventing this from happening. >> thank you. --you think extreme list risk clause would help prevent suicides? >> absolutely. extreme risk protected orders tend to be used by law enforcement and family members and very often, family members have running signs and indicators that a loved one is showing signs of distress or crisis and they know often when their loved ones have guns so being able to use that process to protect their loved ones from causing harm is an incredibly valuable tool for preventing suicides along with things like safe storage laws. >> thank you. let me conclude by noting that ,arlier in the testimony professor malcolm had stated that had shooter crews been put on a background list he would
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not have passed the background check and would not have gotten a gun. you acknowledge that the system could have prevented him getting a gun, it was not quite accurate because he could have walked into a gun show and gotten a gun. that is what hr 8 will do, it will prevent people from doing that so i look forward to your support of hr 8 and with that, i yield back. >> thank you. you so much and to all of our witnesses, thank you so much for being here with us. i know it has been a long day to the advocates answer part -- supporters and survivors and the audience. we appreciate you and we appreciate you being here to hold us accountable. this is a test subject for everybody, for most people. in the room. a lawt 27 years as
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enforcement officer and i served as the chief of police in orlando. i got to tell you, i am sick and tired of watching sons and wivesers and husbands and and mothers and fathers die through gun violence by someone with a gun who has, who should never have had a gun in their possession and the first place. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle cannot tell me the thing about rights. because you know what? i cannot help about -- but think about the rights of the victims of someone the hands with a gun who should never have had a gun in the first place. my goodness, in a country that we say is the greatest country in the world, we are twice a
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times more likely to be killed through gun violence, and a country that we say is the greatest country in the world, my god, you ought to be able to go to church, synagogue, go to a concert, go to school, a movie theater, go to a nightclub not just in orlando but in any city in this country and not have to worry about somebody walking in with a gun. ronald reagan, republican president said, legislation would be worth passing if it meant even small reductions in life, if it, which saves one life, which life is not worth saving?
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which life? sick and tired of sitting here. at least we are having a hearing, and eight years and there has been a lot of talk about crises and national --rgencies and ethanol national health emergencies. one mass numbers of people die in this country, i would consider that a national emergency. it is time, and congress, we sit here with the ability of the power to do something and history will not be kind to us if we continue to let the gun us.y to buy us and sell now is the time for change. if you do not have the guts or the courage to do something
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about this issue and send a message to the american people who desperately turn to us, it is time for you to leave. it is really time for you to leave, and i want to talk to my law enforcement colleagues, and to the emergency room doctor. you deal with this every day. you have not only had to break who were infamilies the place they were doing the right thing, not only have you had to break that bad news but you have also had to bury your own. an emergency room doctor at the polls who showed a victimfference of shot with an assault rifle versus those with a handgun. chances of survival are almost euro when you are shot with an assault rifle so please, in the little time you have left, if
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you would talk about gun violence in your community and why this issue is so important -- andin the we will then we will end with the doctor. >> thank you for that, those comments are well taken. one of the problems is the department of justice decided [inaudible] cannot be in the system. we have 500,000 people who would make them random purchasers and let me give you an example of how that will get women and children killed eerie at my people go to a house and find a woman who has been abused, the perpetrator is not there. we go out and get a warrant and if we cannot enter that person into the system that individual can go out and buy a firearm and come back and finish the job. and so there are a lot of loopholes that you are
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addressing and thank you for speaking out and for your courage and i love prayers, i welcome prayers but like i said before, the american people, my mayor has me in my job to fight crime and the american people elected you not to just pray but to lead and pass legislation that will save lives. >> thank you. i want to mention real quick, i have 13 deputies in my unit and in 2015, they recovered 65 guns, guns,67 guns, 2017, 51 2018, 81 guns. i find that these numbers continue to increase and i am trying to keep them encouraged, 13 people serving protective orders. thank you. >> thank you. this concludes today's hearing. i want to thank our distinguished witnesses for attending. i want to thank the members of
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observing a who are very emotional issue. desmet --ses have members have five days to submit additional materials. with that, the hearing is adjourned. [gavel]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indistinct conversations]
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the houses back to consider child care assistance is really b -- through the v.a.. on c-span2, president trump speaks at the national prayer breakfast. that is followed by a hearing of u.s. africa command and u.s. southern command. returns for debate on a public lands and natural resources management bill. on c-span3, a house energy and mmerce subcommittee looks at president trump's policy for separating families. that is live at 10:30 eastern. the house ways and means proposalsconsiders
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that would require presidents on the vice president publicly disclose their tax returns. >> c-span's "washington journal," live with news and policy issues that impact you. -- c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by cable television companies. we continue to bring you unfiltered congress coverage, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events washington, dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> on wednesday, president trump nominated david malpass to the head of the world bank. he currently serves as treasury undersecretary for international affairs. he must now be approved by the world bank's 12-member executive board.


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