gun violence

Gun debate turns personal
Gillibrand highlights attack on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday evening. (Graham MacGillivray/Roll Call Screenshot)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was one of 24 Democrats who spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday night in a series of speeches calling for legislative action to prevent gun violence in the U.S. The New York senator’s speech focused on the personal stories of people she has met who have been impacted by gun violence across the country — at least until the last two minutes, when she directed her remarks at Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona, who was taking her turn presiding over the chamber.

Senate Democrats prepare marathon floor session on gun violence
Late night is expected as 22 senators are prepared to call for legislation

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., will lead nearly two dozen senators in a marathon of floor speeches on gun violence Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly two dozen Senate Democrats plan to make it a late night on Tuesday, speaking out on the Senate floor about the impact of gun violence and legislative proposals Congress could explore.

The speeches are expected to begin around 5:30 p.m. and run late. Connecticut Democrat Christopher S. Murphy is leading the effort, spurred by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio during the August recess and the lack of clear response from the White House on what, if any, gun control measures they could agree to.

Shootings add to pressure on gun violence research funding push
House-passed fiscal 2020 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill would provide $25 million on gun violence research

Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is looking to avoid contentious issues in bipartisan spending bills. (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers under pressure to address mass shootings could provide millions for research on gun violence, which would help fill a knowledge gap about policies that are most effective at reducing injuries and death, as Congress attempts to fund the government by Oct. 1.

House Democrats have proposed $50 million to study gun violence, and academics say the government funding could ensure that the data collection infrastructure is adequate to support a broad research enterprise.

Hoyer cautions Senate against ‘cop-out’ approach on gun safety legislation
Red flag law bill, more narrow background check expansion not enough, House majority leader says

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer is calling on the Senate to act on a House-passed bill requiring background checks all gun sales. Above, Hoyer speaks at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, joined by, from left, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, Christian Heyne of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Virginia Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is cautioning the Senate against taking up narrowly focused gun safety legislation instead of a more comprehensive House-passed bill to expand background checks on gun purchases. 

In the weeks following three recent deadly mass shootings, House Democrats have issued a steady drumbeat of calls for the Senate to return early from its summer recess to consider HR 8, which the House passed in February. The bill would expand background checks conducted for in-store firearm purchases to include online and gun show sales. 

What lawmakers can do about gun violence, and helping black families save ancestral lands
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

A demonstrator holds a sign on the East Front of the Capitol during the student-led March for Our Lives rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to call for action to prevent gun violence in March 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Public pressure on lawmakers is growing across the country to reduce gun violence, but Congress may only be able to pass incremental legislation, explains CQ Roll Call’s legal affairs writer Todd Ruger.

In the second segment of this podcast, we explore how Congress and a South Carolina center are trying to address the loss of land and wealth, particularly among African Americans, in what is commonly referred to as Heirs Property. Josh Walden of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in South Carolina discusses how thousands of acres of land, from the south to Appalachia, may be in dispute because of the lack of legal records.

Father of slain journalist seeks regulation of internet content
Activist says Google not doing enough to police violent footage available on YouTube

Andy Parker, right, seen with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., at a gun control rally in 2015, says YouTube has not done enough to remove videos related to his daughter's murder from its platform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Following Saturday’s mass shooting at a mall in El Paso by a suspect who appears to have been steeped in a white supremacist internet subculture, activist Andy Parker on Tuesday accused Google executives of lying about their efforts to remove objectionable content, including footage of shootings, from its YouTube platform.

Parker also called for a new law revising the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which regulates online platforms, so that it would prohibit “targeted harassment, incitement, and murder videos” and open up technology companies to civil and criminal liability.

Pelosi says threats outlined by Trump left out gun violence

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, noticed an omission in Trump’s State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Many of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address were displayed clearly on her face Tuesday night, but her disappointment wasn’t just about what the president said — but what he didn’t.

After the speech, Pelosi said that with all the emphasis on security, the president skipped over a major issue impacting communities: gun violence.

Three Men Sentenced in 2015 Killing of Intern for Rob Portman
Matthew Shlonsky was caught in crossfire shooting

Three men who pleaded guilty to killing Matthew Shlonsky were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The three men who pleaded guilty to the 2015 killing of 23-year-old Matthew Shlonsky, a former Sen. Rob Portman intern, were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday.

Andre Dudley, 22, Marcus King, 22, and Christopher Proctor, 28, each were sentenced for single counts of voluntary manslaughter while armed and two counts each of assault with a dangerous weapon. The sentences carry 18.5 years, 15-20 years and 12-14 years, respectively.

Downloadable Guns Would Pose Unique Risk to Capitol, Gainer Says
‘Even the most technologically advanced security cannot neutralize all possible threats,’ Ex-Senate sergeant-at-arms writes

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer says not permanently stopping downloadable plastic guns “will increase the challenges of protecting the security of members of Congress, their staffs and visitors to the Capitol.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:26 p.m. | The only person to hold both top law enforcement roles at the Capitol says downloadable plastic guns would pose an added challenge of “detection and defense” for those who protect Capitol Hill.

Terrance W. Gainer, who served as Senate sergeant-at-arms for seven years and before that as the chief of the Capitol Police, said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but elected officials must recognize the “unique threat downloadable firearms pose to public safety.”

Time Running Out for Violence Against Women Act
Lack of bipartisan sponsorship could slow process

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, lauded protections for Native American women in the reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Violence Against Women Act will expire at the end of September if lawmakers don’t act on a bill to extend the protections introduced by Democrats just before the House leaves town for the August recess.

Congress first passed the landmark domestic violence law in 1993 and most recently reauthorized it in 2013. House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer urged chamber Republicans not to hold up the new proposal by “playing politics.”