WASHINGTON (KDVR) — Congress members on break from work in Washington came in on their day off to take up gun bills. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee worked to get the bills onto the floor for a vote next week and passed a package of six bills they hope will decrease gun violence.
It cleared the committee markup by a vote of 25 to 19. Colorado’s two members of the committee have different thoughts on whether or not they will work.
“Boulder can’t wait any longer, Colorado can’t wait any longer and our country certainly can’t wait any longer,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse said.
House Judiciary members are trying to pass a package of gun safety bills they call the Protecting Our Kids Act. Neguse and Republican Ken Buck were among the members voting on it.
The meeting led to Florida Republican Greg Steube brandishing his guns before the committee when testifying remotely. He was speaking about a measure sponsored by Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette that would stop the sale of magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Republican arguments spark Democrats’ rebuke
Some Republicans argue the nation needs to add more “good guys” with guns, but some Democrats shot down that notion.
“The Robb Elementary School had a good guy with a gun that was nowhere to be found. Tragic,” Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas said.
Congressman Buck used some of his time to ask his colleagues to look at other factors, like people bringing guns from other countries.
“A teacher who wants to bring a gun to school, an administrator, a coach, others, can’t do that right now,” Buck said. “I also think if you want to point out dark visions for America, I think when the Democrats argue for an open border, what they are arguing for is to allow dangerous gang members to come across that border.”
That was a notion that sparked a rebuke from his colleagues.
“You think a grieving mother or father who’s watching wants to hear you talk about abortion and border security? We are trying to respond to gun violence that led to the death of their child. That’s what this hearing is about,” Democrat David Cicilline of Rhode Island said.
What’s in the Protecting Our Kids Act
The titles inside of the act now headed to the House floor include:
- Raise the age: raises the age to 21 for purchasing semiautomatic rifles and shotguns that hold more than five rounds
- Prevent gun trafficking: bans the illegal sales of firearms and straw purchases for guns
- Untraceable firearms: cracking down on ghost guns and requiring all guns be traceable
- Safe storage: requires guns to be safely stored in homes where children or people who are not allowed to possess firearms live
- Closing the bump stock loophole: allows the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate bump stocks and uphold the 2018 ban on the devices
- Keep Americans safe: outlaws the sale of magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition
Despite President Joe Biden’s support of certain aspects, like the banning of high-capacity magazines and raising the purchasing age of assault weapons to 21, the future of the bill remains unclear in the Senate, where lawmakers are making progress on their own negotiations on a red flag law and universal background check proposals.