In contrast to two Democrat-sponsored gun control bills that passed the House this week, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee has introduced his own bill to address mass shooting.
Titled the “Mass Violence Prevention Act,” the bill was introduced by House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., and seeks to better pre-emptively identify potential mass violence situations and prosecute gun crimes, rather restrict gun transactions between law-abiding citizens, as the two bills passed earlier this week would do.
The bill would further empower law enforcement to enforce the laws that are already on the books with more tools and stronger sentences for lawbreakers and is being presented as an alternative to the gun control measures put forward by House Democrats.
“It’s cruel to advance legislation that ignores the factors contributing to gun violence when tragedies like Columbine, Parkland and Aurora, Illinois have showed us again and again what we need to do to keep communities safe,” reads a statement from Collins on the bill. “Authorities have missed opportunities to stop mass shootings before they start, and the Mass Violence Prevention Act combats that disturbing trend by ensuring local, state and federal law enforcement can better share information and coordinate responses to potential threats of mass violence.”
The press release explains that the bill would create a “fusion center” at the Department of Justice to help local law enforcement better coordinate and process intelligence with the feds to “swiftly and appropriately respond to potential instances of mass violence.” It would also seek to restrict the flow of guns into the black market by increasing the penalties on people who steal from federally licensed gun dealers.
The bill also authorizes the federal government to hire additional prosecutors to prosecute gun crimes under the “Project Safe Neighborhoods” initiative, which brings together law enforcement departments to address violent crimes.
Here are the facts:
Of course, the best line of defense against incidents of mass violence would be for state and local governments to get out of the way of the Second Amendment and allow law-abiding citizens to better defend themselves and their loved ones by firing back.
But if the demand is for the federal government to #DoSomething about gun violence, it would make far more sense to do something to better enforce existing laws, rather than push new laws that would only affect the law-abiding, not criminal shooters and killers.