WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – In 2017, 40,000 Americans were killed by guns. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler says no other developed country has such high gun violence rates.
“The common factor in all these other countries is that they have strong gun laws”, said Nadler
House Democrats introduced H.R. 8, which requires universal background checks for gun sales including at trade shows and when buying over the internet.
Lawmakers heard from victims of gun violence which included a survivor of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting who hid under her classmate’s body.
“I matched his every movement and his underneath his lifeless body as bullets riddled my classmates,” said Aalayah Eastmond, mass shooting survivor.
Some witnesses asked for stronger gun laws to keep Americans safe, but gun rights advocates say they need to be able to protect themselves.
“I obeyed the law as a responsible gun owner and it ended in me being raped,” said Savannah Lindquist, college student.
Lindquist says universal background checks are a financial burden and many gun rights supporters including Republicans on the committee said many gunmen in recent mass shootings purchased their guns legally.
The hearing became heated when Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz said the problem isn’t guns.
“In the circumstances that I indicated was not the firearm, it was the fact that we have an immigration system that allows people to come here violently,” said Gaetz (R-Fla.).
Recently, Senate Democrats have introduced a companion bill.