Nadler: Judiciary panel to hold hearing on gun violence before House recess ends

Nadler: Judiciary panel to hold hearing on gun violence before House recess ends
© Greg Nash

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers Collins accusing Democrats of 'tearing down a world leader' GOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Friday his panel would return to Capitol Hill before the summer recess is finished to host a markup hearing on gun violence, which comes after two deadly shootings earlier this month reignited the debate over gun reform.

The Judiciary Committee is poised to return to the beltway on Sept. 4, the Wednesday before the lower chamber's six-week recess is set to end. Nadler says the panel will examine three gun violence prevention bills, and then hold a hearing on military-style assault weapons later in September.

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“Although we know the issue of gun violence won’t be fixed overnight, there are steps Congress can and must take to address it," Nadler said in a statement.

“There is more that we can and must do to address the gun violence epidemic. We will not sit idly by," he continued, stating that he will call on the Senate to work with them to pass gun legislation.

In particular, Nadler blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year MORE (R-Ky.) for his "shameful" refusal to bring to the Senate floor bipartisan legislation that the House passed months ago that supporters say would strengthen the gun background check system and close loopholes.

“While we urge our Senate colleagues to act, Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe. On September 4th, the Judiciary Committee will take additional steps to address gun violence," Nadler said.

The early return comes after dozens were killed and injured during shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, leading Democrats and some Republicans to voice support for gun reform measures.

Nadler says his committee will markup the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the use of high capacity ammunition magazines. The chairman, who noted that the Dayton shooter used this type of magazine, argues that they "are a particularly dangerous feature of the assault weapons often used in mass shootings."

The panel will also markup two bills that aim to limit who can possess firearms: the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which aims to stop individuals considered to be a risk to themselves and others from gaining possession of firearms; and also the Disarm Hate Act, which would block people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing firearms.

"These should not be partisan issues, and it is my hope we can move forward on these matters with support on both sides of the aisle, including the President," Nadler added.

McConnell is unlikely to take up Democratic proposals related to the gun debate. He has previously disregarded other Democratic-led gun bills.

But in their messaging, Democrats will be able to point to their early return as a sign of how serious they are taking gun violence reform, while hitting the GOP-controlled Senate for failing to act.