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House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole, R-Okla., left, and Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., confer as the panel prepares to advance a Democratic gun control bill to the floor, the Protecting Our Kids Act, in response to the recent mass shootings in Texas and New York, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole, R-Okla., left, and Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., confer as the panel prepares to advance a Democratic gun control bill to the floor, the Protecting Our Kids Act, in response to the recent mass shootings in Texas and New York, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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UPDATED 6:45 AM PT – Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The House Rules Committee debated on two pieces of gun control laws. In a Tuesday hearing, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) presented the Protect Our Kids and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Acts.

The Protect Our Kids and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act is an omnibus package which raises the purchasing age for semiautomatic rifles, prohibits the possession of high capacity magazines, establishes requirements regulating the storage of firearms in residences and creates a registry for bump stock owners. Additionally, this measure would allow a family member or law enforcement official to petition a federal court to prohibit an individual they believe to be a risk to themselves from purchasing a firearm or ammunition.

“The measures before us offer sensible solutions that a clear, convincing, in fact overwhelming majority of voters agree with,” McGovern stated. “As a country, our leaders, including all of us here in this room, are responsible for making choices. If we do nothing, we are making a choice. We are choosing to be powerless. We are choosing to do nothing to stop the next mass shooting from happening on our watch.”

McGovern also claimed that a majority of gun owners supported these two bills in the aftermath of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.

“Most gun owners, I think, favor the stuff that we’re talking about here today,” he noted. “But the extremists in the gun lobby, you know what? They’ll have the last word and more children will die. And I hope maybe this is the moment that there are enough people in a bipartisan way here that will come together and actually do something.”

In response to his arguments, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) argued they violated the Second Amendment and Congress should be looking into approaching the issue of mass shootings from a public health perspective.

“Our nation is in the midst of a widespread mental health crisis,” Cole explained. “The growing number and frequency of mass shootings are a reminder that our country must take a comprehensive public health approach to gun violence that addresses culture, mental illness, gun safety and regulations that also respect the Second Amendment. But unfortunately, the measures before us today do not meet that test.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) pointed out a major flaw in the Democrats push to implement gun reform legislation.

“The gun bills that are presented here today all suffer a common flaw that almost all gun control suffers from, and that is criminals don’t obey the law,” he stated. “Good guys obey the law. They’ll disarm in a gun free zone and then that’s, those are the types of places that the criminals seek out. The chairman said that these bills are not an attempt to take away people’s guns, but in reality these bills will take all guns from some people and some guns from all people. And predominantly it will limit law abiding citizens access to guns.”

In the meantime, both bills are expected to hit the House floor this week.

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