News: National

Policymakers Consider Responses to Gun Violence

Thursday, August 29, 2019  
Posted by: Jamie Michael
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After two mass shootings within days in El Paso and Dayton left more than 30 people dead, policymakers were quick to discuss possible solutions. House Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) vowed to push for more gun violence research funding in this fall's negotiations over FY2020 spending bills with the Senate.

Some Members of Congress called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the Senate back from the August recess to debate solutions to gun violence. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly is resisting calls for the House to come back in session unless McConnell agrees to consider legislation already passed by the House to address background checks for gun purchases.

McConnell has reportedly asked the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to develop proposals to help states bolster school safety and assist individuals with serious mental health problems. HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the work would build on provisions passed in 2018 to require that state and federal agencies work together to close loopholes in the background check system and provide grants to states through the Department of Justice to improve school safety. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he would introduce legislation with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to create a grant program to help law enforcement work with mental health professionals to implement extreme risk protection orders. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also has a similar bill to encourage states to implement such laws. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that these "red flag" bills would not be sufficient without universal background checks.

NACCHO's statement on the violence in El Paso and Dayton can be found here.

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