Butterfield Demands Congressional Hearings to Address Gun Violence Epidemic
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), joined by his Democratic colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) urging him to hold hearings as soon as possible to address gun violence in America.
The letter requests the Committee hold hearings on the gun violence epidemic in America, including explorations of: who gun violence hurts; whether mass shootings are becoming increasingly deadly; the distribution of guns, ammunition, and accessories through e-commerce, and whether federal agencies have the resources necessary to exercise effective oversight of such activity; and the extent to which social media may be increasing the hostility surrounding the gun debate.
“In eastern North Carolina and across the country, we’ve seen too many lives lost due to gun violence,” said Congressman Butterfield. “We can no longer ignore the problem and go about our lives after another one of these tragedies as if it’s business as usual. Congress must finally act.”
“The American people rightfully have questions about the ever-increasing capacity of guns to kill or seriously harm in large numbers and why these weapons are so easy to obtain in the marketplace,” the Members wrote in their letter to Chairman Walden. “There are also legitimate questions this Committee must take up, including the ease of purchasing ammunition and gun accessories online and whether social media is contributing to the societal divisions on the topic of gun violence.”
Today’s letter follows a February 16th letter from Congressman Butterfield and Democratic Committee members to Chairman Walden and Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) calling on them to hold a hearing on gun violence prevention research. The Republican leaders have neither responded to that request nor scheduled a hearing on the subject.
Congressman Butterfield is also a co-sponsor of the bipartisan H.R. 4240, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, to help states strengthen and expand the background checks system and close a number of gun sale loopholes. Another bipartisan bill he supports is H.R. 1478, the Gun Violence Research Act, which would repeal a provision in federal appropriations law that would allow the CDC and other agencies to perform gun violence research. He also supports H.R. 3464, the Background Checks Completion Act, to prohibit licensed gun dealers from selling guns to buyers without completing a background check. This would close the “Charleston Loophole” that allowed the sale of a gun that was used in the racially motivated attack at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina that took nine lives two years ago.
Congressman G. K. Butterfield is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is the oldest and one of the most influential legislative committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the Subcommittees on Communications and Technology; Energy; and Health.