Shooting Forces House To Cancel Hearings And Votes
By Igor Bobic
WASHINGTON ― A shooting in Virginia involving several Republican lawmakers brought Congress to a standstill Wednesday, with the House of Representatives canceling a number of hearings, including one scheduled to consider a package of pro-gun legislation.
Among the lawmakers who were present at the scene of the shooting, an Alexandria baseball field, was Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who introduced the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act that was scheduled to go under review by the House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday morning. The hearing, like several others in the House, has been canceled “until further notice.”
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the chair of the committee, was also present at the scene of the shooting, where at least five people were injured.
The SHARE Act largely deals with natural resources and conservation, but it also includes several provisions that would loosen gun restrictions.
Among them is a section on “Hearing Protection,” which mimics legislation that Duncan introduced separately earlier this year. The measure would remove gun silencers, also called suppressors, from their classification under the National Firearms Act, where they have been listed since 1934 alongside weaponry like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
Under existing restrictions, anyone purchasing a silencer must first pay a $200 transfer fee, submit to fingerprinting and pass a federal background check, a process that can take up to nine months. The Hearing Protection Act would make buying a silencer as easy as buying a standard handgun.
There is no indication that the gunman in Wednesday’s shooting used a firearm equipped with a silencer. Such crimes are extremely rare.
Supporters of deregulating silencers say the move […]