Washington, D.C. - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following remarks on the House floor, as prepared, during debate of the Protecting Our Kids Act:
“Our nation has been through trying times these last few weeks as we have tried to process the mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and all too many other cities. Just this past weekend, we learned of yet another horrific incident in Philadelphia, and yet more carnage in Tennessee, Arizona, Virginia, and South Carolina. And those were just the stories we saw in the news.
“Day after day, we see more lives lost to gun violence—in our schools, on our streets, in our houses of worship, and in our homes, touching every region of the country—and we hear the urgent calls from our constituents crying out for us to take action.
“Today, we heed that call.
“H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, is comprehensive legislation to address the scourge of gun violence—a blight that killed nearly 45,000 Americans in 2020 alone. It builds on the work of several of our colleagues, including:
Anthony Brown’s Raise the Age Act, which would raise the lawful age to purchase an AR-15 styled semiautomatic assault rifle from 18 to 21 years old;
Robin Kelly’s Prevent Gun Trafficking Act, which would establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchasing;
David Cicilline’s Untraceable Firearms Act, which would ensure that ghost guns are subject to existing federal firearms regulations;
A trio of gun storage proposals—Rosa DeLauro’s Ethan’s Law, Elissa Slotkin’s Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act, and Sheila Jackson Lee’s Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act—which would establish storage regulations that keep guns out of the hands of children and award grants for firearm storage assistance programs;
Dina Titus’s Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act, which would build on existing regulations banning the manufacture, sale, or possession of bump stocks for civilian use; and
Ted Deutch’s Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the sale, manufacture, and illegal possession of gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
“I want to thank each of them for their contributions to this bill and for making this country safer for all Americans.
“All of us in this Chamber were shaken by the images of parents in Uvalde standing in line to match their DNA to the remains of their nine- and ten-year-old children—parents who should be picking their children up from school right now but who, instead, are picking up the pieces of their lives, shattered by this unimaginable loss.
“But the question today is: who among us will have the courage to do something about it?
“Who will be able to tell mothers and fathers that their children need not go to school in a fortress just to keep them safe?
“Who will be able to tell children that they did all they could today to ensure that their parents will return safely from the supermarket, or their office, or an evening out?
“Who will be able to tell their constituents that they stood with them and not the gun lobby?
“Americans are watching. They are begging us to protect them and their loved ones from gun violence.
“Who among us will answer their call?
“I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting the Protecting Our Kids Act, and I reserve the balance of my time.”