by: Jamie Dupree Updated:
In the aftermath of the massive gun attack in Las Vegas, which killed 59 and resulted in injuries to over 500 people, GOP leaders in the U.S. House say there is no current plan to hold a vote on a bill to make it easier for people to purchase gun silencers, a measure which had already been approved by a House committee.
“That bill is not scheduled now, I don’t know when it’s going to be scheduled,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, in response to questions from reporters after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.
It was the second time that piece of legislation had been put on hold this year; the first time, a hearing scheduled on the matter was delayed after a gunman tried to assassinate Republican lawmakers who had gathered for an early morning baseball practice in Virginia.
“When two mass shootings force you to delay a bill that would make those mass shootings harder to detect and stop, maybe it’s a sign you ought to let go of the bill once and for all,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer on the Senate floor.
The measure on gun silencers is part of a broader bill from Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) that deals with hunting, fishing, recreation, and the use of firearms on federal lands.
Last week, after Democrats had criticized the possibility of a vote on this bill, Duncan accused House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of “spreading misinformation” about the plan.
“Nancy Pelosi your comments on the SHARE Act prove your ignorance on these issues,” Duncan wrote on Twitter.
Asked at today’s briefing with reporters about what can be done by the feds to lessen the possibility of a mass shooting, Speaker Ryan pointed to mental health legislation approved in 2016 by the Congress.
“One of the things we’ve learned from these shootings is often underneath this is a diagnosis of mental illness,” Ryan said.
“That law is now being implemented,” Ryan said, calling it a “critical ingredient” in trying to prevent such mass violence in the future.
A reporter then asked the Speaker why Congress had voted to roll back – and the President signed into law – a plan that attempted to stop people from buying firearms, if they had been found to have mental health issues.
“There were people whose rights were being infringed,” the Speaker said. “Protecting people’s rights was very important.”