WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) issued the below statement following the vote on H.R. 7910. The legislation was split into multiple sections, two of which Joyce voted in favor of.
“Stopping school shootings isn’t a Republican issue or a Democrat issue,” said Joyce. “The Senate seems to understand that – as evidenced by the serious efforts underway in that chamber to craft a bipartisan bill that addresses the root causes of these heartless crimes and directly improves the safety of our communities. The same cannot be said for the House.
“I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. I have also supported targeted red flag measures, voted to strengthen background check laws, and called for a ban on bump stocks. If the bill before me tonight prevented school shootings from becoming an everyday reality and preserved the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, I’d gladly support it. Unfortunately, it does not. By choosing to legislate their preferred partisan argument on guns rather than working across the aisle to protect our children from these unspeakable tragedies, the majority is continuing Congress’ persistent failure to tackle gun violence.
“I remain committed to passing bipartisan solutions to gun violence that can garner the support necessary to become law, help prevent these shootings, and preserve the Constitutional rights of the American people. For the sake of our children and the safety of this nation, I hope the Senate will override the House’s failure and produce such a bill as soon as possible – one that includes many of the measures I’ve already supported.”
The day after the shooting at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Joyce personally wrote to President Biden and offered his assistance in developing bipartisan solutions to protect children from these horrific tragedies. While the White House confirmed receipt of the letter, the President has yet to respond.
As the only Member of Congress to have prosecuted a school shooter, Joyce has repeatedly offered to sit down with his colleagues on the other side of the aisle and establish bipartisan agreement on solutions to reduce gun violence and keep American children, families, and communities safe. Today was the first time he was taken up on that offer. Invited by Reps. John Larson (CT-01) and Robin Kelly (IL-02), Joyce spoke with his Democratic colleagues about his experience as a prosecutor, including the Chardon school shooting, and discussed possible gun violence prevention proposals that can garner support from both conservatives and progressives alike.
Joyce has consistently supported measures to address the root causes and common threads of senseless acts of gun violence and increase the safety of Ohio communities, including:
- Cosponsoring H.R. 744, Protecting Our Communities and Rights Act, which would have authorized grants for states to implement extreme risk protection order laws (also known as red flag laws).
- Voting to strengthen the accuracy of background checks and penalize agencies that fail to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System required under current law (H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017 was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018).
- Cosponsoring H.R. 1229, the EAGLES Act, which would reauthorize and expand the National Threat Assessment Center of the Department of Homeland Security to focus on school violence and promote security initiatives within schools.
- Joining Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08) in introducing H.R. 7966, the STOP II Act, which would provide solutions to improve school safety, support mental healthcare in schools, expand law enforcement information sharing, and require federal agencies to continuously update, develop, and provide training materials on bullying and cyberbullying, emergency planning, mental health, and targeted violence to help schools prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from a range of school safety threats, hazards, and emergency situations.
- Cosponsoring H.R. 1339, the Mass Violence Prevention Act of 2019, which would have improved law enforcement coordination and information sharing, cracked down on illegal firearms possession, and strengthened the Department of Justice’s ability to prosecute cases of gun violence.
- Asking the ATF to reevaluate the legality of devices that make guns able to fire more quickly, such as bump stocks, since fully automatic weapons made after 1986 are illegal.
- Voting for H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act to reauthorize the Secure Our Schools grant program, which can be used for:
- Training students, teachers, school officials, and local law enforcement.
- Teaching how to identify and intervene during early signs of violence.
- Creating anonymous reporting systems.
- Implementing school threat assessment protocols to deter shootings before they occur.
- Physical security enhancements such as metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures.