A picture of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Expressing Support for H.R. 1217 ``Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015’‘

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2015-12-10

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    JACKSON LEE of texas in the house of representatives Thursday, December 10, 2015 Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, the past few months have been marked by senseless violence and tragedy across the globe and in our own country from Tuscon, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston, Chattanooga, Roseburg, and now most recently in San Bernardino, California.

    It is past time that we come together united by our common humanity and with this simple message: the violence must stop.

    The senseless mass shooting in San Bernardino reminds us of the imperative of ending gun violence in our country.

    And there are actions that can be taken to reduce gun violence beginning with the enactment of the bipartisan ``Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015'' (H.R. 1217).

    This bipartisan legislation, which I am proud to be an original co- sponsor, will help prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals and reinforce the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.

    Expanding the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015 ensures that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill cannot slip through background check loopholes that endanger the safety and rights of every American.

    H.R. 1217 greatly reduces the number of places where a criminal can buy a gun.

    Right now a criminal can buy a firearm in the parking lot of a gun show, over the internet, or through a newspaper ad without needing a background check.

    The bill closes these loopholes while ensuring that background checks are conducted in the same way federally licensed dealers have for more than 40 years.

    [[Page E1768]] The legislation also strengthens the Second Amendment rights of law- abiding gun owners by banning the government from creating a federal registry and makes the misuse of records a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

    It provides reasonable exceptions for family and friend transfers and allows active military personnel to buy guns in the state they are stationed.

    It lets gun owners use a state concealed carry permit issued within the last five years in lieu of a background check and permits interstate handgun sales from licensed dealers.

    The bill also improves the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by incentivizing states to improve reporting of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and by directing future grant funds toward better record-sharing systems.

    H.R. 1217 will also reduce federal funds to states that do not comply.

    Mr. Speaker, you cannot be against criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill getting guns and be against background checks.

    I thank Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) for introducing this bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1217), which is the House companion to an identical bipartisan bill introduced previously by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

    Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1217 is anti-crime, pro-lawful gun owner and pro- Second Amendment.

    It will save lives and strengthen the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

    It deserves a vote in the House.


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