House Judiciary postpones gun bills hearing over Hurricane Dorian

House Judiciary postpones gun bills hearing over Hurricane Dorian
© Greg Nash

The House Judiciary Committee announced on Friday that, due to Hurricane Dorian hindering lawmaker travel, it is postponing a planned early return from recess to consider gun reform legislation. 

The panel had planned to mark up bills to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and prevent people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes or considered high-risk from having guns. 

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Five members of the Judiciary Committee represent districts in Florida, which is expected to be hit hard by Dorian late Monday or early Tuesday. 

A number of House Democrats had called for cutting the chamber’s six-week summer recess short to take up gun control bills in response to back-to-back mass shootings earlier this month in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. House Democratic leaders opted against bringing members back early, instead arguing they should keep the pressure on Senate Republicans to take up a House-passed bill to expand background checks. 

But the Judiciary Committee announced that it would return a few days early on Sept. 4 to consider gun legislation. The full House isn’t scheduled to be back in session until Sept. 9, the following Monday

The markup will now take place during the week of Sept. 9, but an exact date is yet to be announced. 

The committee also still plans to hold a hearing on banning assault weapons on Sept. 25.