House

Pelosi: ‘Personally devastated’ by latest mass shooting in home state

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she is “personally devastated” by the mass shooting that took place in her home state Wednesday morning, which left at least eight victims dead, in addition to the shooter.

“All Americans join the San Jose community in sadness and shock over today’s horrific mass shooting. As a Californian, I am personally devastated,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“Our prayers are with the loved ones of the victims, and our gratitude is with the first responders for their heroic actions,” she added.

A gunman opened fire at a San Jose rail yard Wednesday morning, leaving at least eight people dead.

The shooter, who was identified as a male employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), the facility where the shooting took place, has also died.

Authorities say they believe he died of a self-inflicted wound.

Officials have not yet determined what the shooter’s motive was, or what type of weapon was used in the attack. An investigation is currently underway.

Pelosi, in her statement following the shooting, called on Congress to pass a pair of “gun violence prevention bills.” She said her caucus “will not relent” until the legislation is signed into law.

“The gun violence crisis inflicts unfathomable anguish and pain on families and communities across the nation, taking a staggering toll of 40,000 American lives each year.  Inaction is not an option — and House Democrats will not relent until H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, our bipartisan gun violence prevention bills, are enacted into law,” she said.

Both bills Pelosi mentioned, dubbed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, respectively, passed through the House in March.

The bills aim to strengthen background checks on firearm sales and transfers.

The House approved H.R. 8 in a 227 to 203 vote, with eight Republicans backing the measure and one Democrat separating from his party.

The bill, if passed and signed into law, would implement new background check requirements for gun transfers between private parties. The legislation would require “a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer” to first take possession of the gun while a background check is being conducted.

Transfers made as a gift between spouses, however, would be exempted.

H.R. 1446 cleared the House in a 219 to 210 vote, with two Democrats and two Republicans crossing party lines.

That legislation would extend the review period in which a background check can be conducted before purchasing a firearm from the current three days to 10.

Both bills now await a vote in the Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia Democrat who has proved to be an essential factor in Democratic efforts to pass key bills in the Senate, said in March that he does not support the legislation the House passed to expand background checks to all gun sales.

He said he wanted a bill that provided a larger carve-out period for private sales between individuals who know each other.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), however, both suggested in March that Congress can strike a bipartisan deal on gun reform if the focus remains on background checks for commercial gun sales.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that same month vowed to hold votes on the background check bills

“Today and in the days to come, the nation stands with the San Jose community,” Pelosi wrote. “May it be a comfort to the loved ones of those killed that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”

Tags Chris Murphy Chuck Schumer Joe Manchin Nancy Pelosi Pat Toomey

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