House Judiciary Committee announces vote on gun violence bills before end of recess

WASHINGTON D.C. — The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it will hold votes on a series of gun violence prevention bills on September 4, the week before Congress returns from recess.

The bills the committee is set to take up include measures that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, “red flag” legislation — which would enable court orders to intervene and temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to a firearm — as well as a bill to prevent individuals convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing firearms. The committee also announced that it will hold a hearing on “military-style assault weapons” on September 25.

Action by the House Judiciary Committee on gun legislation will give Democrats another opportunity to spotlight the issue of gun violence in the aftermath of two recent mass shootings in one weekend that left 31 people dead.

Democrats in both chambers have been calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back into session early from August recess to pass background checks legislation that previously passed out of the House, but there is no indication that will happen.

Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said in a statement, “While we urge our Senate colleagues to act, Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe.”

“On September 4th, the Judiciary Committee will take additional steps to address gun violence by marking up the Keep Americans Safe Act which would ban high capacity ammunition magazines that are a particularly dangerous feature of the assault weapons often used in mass shootings … We will also mark up the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms, as well as the Disarm Hate Act, which would prevent those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing firearms.”

Earlier this month, McConnell told a Kentucky radio station that the Senate will put the issues of background check legislation in addition to red flag laws “front and center” when the body reconvenes after its summer recess, but indicated that it would not return early as Democrats have demanded.

McConnell also made no commitments on what would come to the Senate floor, suggesting that negotiations were ongoing still.

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