House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced on Thursday the House will take up gun measures next week and will vote on a sweeping gun package. This is in response to several recent mass shootings, including the two latest ones. The first in Buffalo, N.Y. that killed more than 30 people and the Uvalde, Texas school shooting last week that so far, has taken the lives of 19 children and two adults.
Pelosi said Thursday the House will vote next week on the Protecting Our Children Act, a series of legislation the House Judiciary Committe considered Thursday. Proponents said this bill will reduce gun violence by raising the age requirement for purchasing semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old, prohibit civilian use of high-capacity magazines, bump stock, ghost guns, background checks, and probably a host of other things that violate our Second Amendment rights.
In a letter to colleagues on Thursday, Pelosi said the package “will make an enormous difference in our fight against gun violence.” She also said the House will soon hold a hearing regarding a bill to ban assault weapons, which she first announced at an anti-gun violence event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) also told reporters on Thursday that the House will bring the package to the floor next week. He also mentioned the House is “working on the assault weapons ban,” adding, “and if we have the votes then we’ll take that to the vote too.”
The House is also slated to vote on a separate bill next week that would nationalize “red flag” laws, which seek to keep firearms away from people who are deemed a danger to themselves and others.
According to Pelosi’s letter, “That legislation will keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others by implementing a nationwide extreme risk law and encouraging states to enact their own extreme risk laws.”
The Speaker also said on Thursday that the House will bring the Active Shooter Alert Act to the floor in the coming weeks. The bill, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), would establish a program to inform the public when active shooters are in their area. It would be similar to the AMBER Alert system used by law enforcement.
Although the House will likely pass the measures, they have little chance of passing the Senate, where Democratic leadership would need 10 Republican votes who are unlikely to embrace the wide-ranging bill that would send any bills to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Should there be bipartisan agreement on a Senate bill, such legislation will likely be more narrow in scope than the measure passed by the House.
Bipartisan negotiations on a framework for gun measures that could win bipartisan support continued this week, with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) expressing optimism about their trajectory.
Senate Republicans have indicated they would be willing to consider measures such as enhanced background checks or incentivizing states to pass red flag law, but a framework for any specific agreement is not yet clear.
In an op-ed for Fox News, Murphy argued that his efforts toward a bipartisan negotiation are sincere, even if the end result is “smaller set of reforms that I would prefer.”