A Democrat lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee said this week that efforts to confiscate civilian-owned firearms will not be stopped. He then threatened “we will expand” the Supreme Court if it objects to new gun control measures.
During a Thursday hearing to consider a raft of new gun control proposals, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) addressed opponents of new gun control efforts saying, “Enough of you telling us that school shootings are a fact of life when every other country like ours has virtually ended. Enough of you blaming mental illness and then defunding mental health care in this country. Enough of your thoughts and prayers. Enough. Enough.
Jones said “you will not stop us from advancing” a new bill being considered during the hearing called the “Protect Our Kids Act.” The bill, proposed by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) includes plans to raise the age to purchase many rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21, bans magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition and imposes firearms storage requirements.
“We will not rest until we’ve taken weapons of war out of circulation in our communities,” Jones said. “Each and every day we will do whatever it takes to end gun violence. Whatever it takes.”
“You will not stop us from passing [the ‘Protecting Our Kids Act’] in the House next week and you will not stop us there,” Jones said.
Jones then said if the Senate’s filibuster rules prevent the legislation from passing, “we will abolish” the filibuster.
Jones then said if the “Supreme Court objects” to the new legislation, possibly by finding it unconstitutional, “we will expand” the court. His comments implied Democrats would favor expanding the court beyond the current nine-member composition and adding justices that would rule new gun control measures are constitutional.
“What we will do, is not fail the children of this country the way that you have failed us, the generations of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland and Uvalde,” Jones said.
Jones delivered his remarks as Democrats are urging new gun control measures just days after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 children and two adults were killed.
According to investigations of the shooting timeline, the 18-year-old suspect in the Uvalde attack fired shots outside the school for 12 minutes before entering the building through a door that had been left propped open by a teacher. Investigators believe the school’s resource officer was also not present at the time of the shooting. It also took about 77 minutes between when the gunman entered the building and when responding officers finally entered the classroom that the gunman was barricaded in and fatally shot him. Police were also seen on video, holding back parents who attempted to enter the school to either save their children or intervene against the shooter themselves.
While many Democrats and gun control activists have called for more restrictions on firearms, some Republicans and gun rights activists have criticized the police response and called for different security measures at schools, such as a single controlled point of entry and armed personnel on campus.
In an interview with Fox News last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “have one door into and out of the school and have that one door armed police officers at that door.” Cruz said if those precautions had been in place at the elementary school in Uvalde, “when that psychopath arrived, the armed police officers could’ve taken him out and we’d have 19 children and two teachers still alive.”
Republican lawmakers in Ohio have also proposed new laws that would allow teachers in that state to more easily be armed to potentially shoot back at a would-be school shooter.