Firearms Trafficking Legislationby Representative Mike Thompson
Posted on 2013-03-13
THOMPSON of California. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent
that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their
remarks on the subject of this Special Order.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.
Mr. THOMPSON of California. Madam Speaker, I rise to call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join with us and pass the bipartisan legislation to strengthen Federal penalties for straw purchasing of firearms. I'm a hunter and a gun owner, and I believe strongly in the Second Amendment. I support law-abiding Americans' right to own firearms, and nothing in this legislation infringes upon that right. This bill simply helps keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals who cannot legally buy guns on their own.
I chair the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Our task force has developed a comprehensive set of policy principles that will help reduce gun violence. To develop these principles, we met with virtually everyone who had an interest on this issue: Republicans, Democrats, the NRA, gun owners and gun safety groups, mental health experts, educational leaders, people from the video game and movie industries, hunting and sportsman's groups, law enforcement leaders, and the Vice President of the United States. Out of these meetings, one of the principles we developed dealt specifically with strengthening penalties [[Page H1391]] for gun trafficking and for straw purchasing. This is something we should all be able to agree on.
At a hearing yesterday held by my colleague and friend, Mr. Cummings from Maryland, and one of his cosponsors, Mrs. Maloney from New York, we heard testimony from New York City fireman Ted Scardino. Mr. Scardino was wounded and two of his fellow firemen were killed when a gunman lured them to a house that that gunman had set on fire and then started shooting at them. The shooter had his neighbor buy the gun for him because he could not pass a background check.
Mr. Scardino said yesterday: Putting a gun in someone's hand that isn't supposed to have one must be stopped.
So let's pass this bipartisan bill and let's stop it.
I now yield to my colleague and good friend from Maryland, the author of this legislation and a leader on this issue, Mr. Cummings.