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April 26, 2023

Rep. Schiff Calls Out Republican Inaction on Gun Violence Epidemic in Judiciary Committee Remarks

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), spoke at the Judiciary Committee hearing for Oversight of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, calling out Republicans for their inaction and apathy on solving the gun violence epidemic. Here is the video, and full transcript is below:

“Well, we can see now what the GOP has become. It's become the anti-ATF, anti-FBI, anti-law enforcement, pro-insurrection party. Mr. Director, I appreciate your being here. You have one of the toughest jobs in America. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle treat you like you're some kind of a mass shooter instead of someone trying to protect us from the epidemic of gun violence and I want to recognize all of the volunteers from Moms Demand Action.

And thank you for being here. Thank you for your advocacy around the nation.

I appreciate how much you're devoted to trying to end this scourge of gun violence. I thought - I think, like many Americans, that after the tragedy of Sandy Hook, it would finally be enough. Watching those beautiful children massacred would be finally enough to prompt this Congress to do something to stop this insanity. But it didn't. It tragically - so many members in Congress learned a very different lesson that they could just wait it out.

They could wait out tragedy after tragedy after tragedy, and they would have to do nothing. And indeed, on the other side of the aisle, it's just gotten worse. It's just gotten worse. Whenever you see a disparity between what the American people want and what they get, there's usually a powerful special interest at work. And here the American people desperately want an end to this epidemic.

They want common sense gun safety legislation. They want a ban on assault weapons. They want truly universal background checks. It's insane that you can be denied the purchase of a weapon because you're a felon and then go out in the parking lot and buy the same gun. That is insane. And of course, we see the result when we see our children mowed down week after week after week.

And it's not like there aren't answers to this. It's not like there aren't things that work. There are things that work like a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity clips. And yes, it won't stop every shooting, it won't stop every mass shooting, but it will stop a lot of them. And it makes the ones that happen far less lethal.

I mean, the GOP has become the party of wanting guns with more lethality, capable of killing more people, capable of killing more kids and more cops. And I'm sure they don't actually want cops and kids to die, but it's the effect of their actions. It's the effect of their inaction that people are dying. I mean, not even NRA members want this.

And so why do they? Who benefits from this? Who benefits from this absurd, grotesque spectacle of mass shootings week after week and the daily trauma of people getting gunned down. Who benefits? Certainly not the American people. Well, the gun makers benefit. It's all about the money. Apparently, it's all about the money. Nothing else matters.

I've been carrying a bill now for six or eight years to repeal the immunity that the gun industry has, because if it's all about the money, then the only thing that will stop the violence is to take away the money, take away the profit in murder.

So I'm grateful to Moms Demand Action. I'm grateful for what you're doing out there. You're making a difference. If not in this building, you're making a difference in state capitals. I think you're going to make a difference in this building. We will get to a tipping point where we will show that we can beat the NRA,

we can pass common sense reforms and we can protect the public. You know, there has been a lot of progress, I think, on the Democratic side of the aisle, of members running towards this issue, not away from it, but on the other side of the aisle, after the terrible shooting in Buffalo, for example, a year or two ago, when one of the Republican members said they could no longer in good conscience oppose an assault weapons ban, it was a few days later they were forced to announce that they would not run again because they were told basically that they would be drummed out of the party.

And that has got to change. We're just going to see more Americans die from the lack of courage in this building. And I am just so fed up with getting up every day and seeing another city devastated, another town, another school known not for the beauty of its people, but for the deadliness of another tragedy. We've got to do better than this.”