Hawaii lawmakers continue push for gun legislation amid impeachment inquiry
WASHINGTON - The impeachment inquiry has put some of the other big issues in Congress on hold, at least for now. One of those is gun control legislation.
KITV spoke with U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard before lawmakers returned home last week. They told KITV gun legislation was one of those big issues they want to get done before the end of the legislative year in December.
Gabbard is co-sponsoring a bill known as the “School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act.” It would create a federal definition for a school shooting. But perhaps more importantly it would require the Departments of Justice, Education and Health and Human Services to publish annual reports on what’s leading to school shootings. That includes the number of shootings, what types of weapons were used and the shooter’s motives.
It’s the latest push to get something done in the U.S. House, following a series of deadly mass shootings in August that generated talk on Capitol Hill and at the White House. But so far, no action in the Senate or by the President.
“What our legislation does is it provides an avenue to be able to start collecting that information and see where are the trends, where are the resources needed, what more can we do to make sure we are keeping our kids safe in our schools,” Gabbard told KITV.
Meanwhile, Hirono is calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring forward the expanded background checks bill the house passed earlier this year. McConnell has said he’s waiting on President Trump to signal what he would support first. That has left the senate in limbo on this issue.
Hirono said she would start by closing background check loopholes, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“That’s a start,” Hirono told KITV. “We used to have a law like that on the books. I can see the reasons: the (National Rifle Association) and a president who changes his mind every other day.”
Hirono is referring to is the 1994 federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.