House to pass bill offering federal aid to investigate mass shootings

But the bill, from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is not a response to any of these shootings in 2012. Gowdy proposed his bill in the summer of 2011, and the House quickly passed it in September in a 358-9 vote, and sent it to the Senate.

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It lingered in the Senate for more than a year, but was approved on December 17, just days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The Senate amended it so that DHS, in addition to the FBI, could respond to requests for help in the investigation of mass shootings.

Gowdy — a former federal prosecutor — says mass shooting events can strain the investigatory resources of state and local authorities, and that the federal government should be able to assist when asked.

"Violent crimes that impact multiple victims in mass shootings in particular are unpredictable and, in addition to sending shock waves through the communities impacted, often test the resources of the state and local law enforcement jurisdictions involved," he said in 2011 when the House passed his bill.

"Regrettably, within our lifetime, there have been scores of mass shootings ranging from restaurants to high schools to universities and churches. No place is safe."

The Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act, H.R. 2076, would also increase the Attorney General's authority to offer rewards for information as it investigates crimes. Current law allows rewards up to $2 million, and the bill would increase this to a $3 million maximum.