Grassley to hold hearings on gun violence

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will hold a hearing Wednesday on several bills focused on preventing gun violence that are moving forward in the U.S. Senate.

Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he also wants to review factors that led to incidents like last month’s deadly shooting rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida. “On two recent occasions, in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and in Parkland, we know that our government agencies and law enforcement missed real big red flags that could have prevented these fatalities,” Grassley says. “So at the hearing, we’re going to take a close look at those fatal mistakes.”

Grassley, a Republican, says he wants an in-depth review of pending legislation that could help to prevent future tragedies. “Number one, the Stop School Violence Act would provide the Justice Department grants to schools to improve safety programs,” Grassley says, “and we have the School Safety and Mental Health Services Improvement Act that would fund early intervention and mental health programs in schools.”

One complaint that’s often heard after school shootings is that people who shouldn’t have access to guns are those who carry out such acts of violence. “We have a bill that’s called Fix NICS,” Grassley says. “That’s the acronym for the database that the FBI maintains to see that people that have felonies and other things wrong with them can’t legally buy guns.”

President Trump initially voiced support for raising the minimum age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21 but he’s now moved away from the proposal. Grassley says he’d back such legislation but wants to focus instead on measures that could pass more quickly.

Tomorrow’s hearing (at 8:30 AM/Central) is called, “See Something, Say Something: Oversight of the Parkland Shooting and Legislative Proposals to Improve School Safety.”

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