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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Gun Safety

Congressman Scott is a vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which was convened by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in response to the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. The purpose of the Task Force is to find comprehensive, commonsense solutions to the problem of gun violence in America that also respect law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights.

The Task Force solicited the input and testimony of victims of gun violence and gun safety advocates; gun owners, hunters, and outdoor sportsmen; federal, state, and local law enforcement; educators and community workers; mental health experts and physicians; criminology and public health researchers; representatives of the motion picture, television, music, and video game industries; faith community leaders; and representatives of gun manufacturers and retailers. Based upon the feedback of these groups, the Task Force urges Congress to:

  • Support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
  • Support citizens’ rights to possess firearms for hunting, shooting sports, defense, and other lawful and legitimate purposes.
  • Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons.
  • Reinstate a prospective federal ban on assault magazines.
  • Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database.
  • Prosecute those prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms and others who violate federal firearm laws.
  • Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing.
  • Restore funding for public safety and law enforcement initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence.
  • Support initiatives that prevent problems before they start, especially by enacting comprehensive, violence prevention and intervention legislation like the Youth PROMISE Act.
  • Close the holes in our mental-health system and make sure that care is available for those who need it.
  • Help our communities get unwanted and illegal guns out of the hands of those who don’t want them or shouldn’t have them.
  • Support responsible gun ownership.
  • Take steps to enhance school safety through evidence-based strategies and positive behavioral interventions.
  • Address our culture’s glorification of violence seen and heard though our movie screens, television shows, music and video games.

More on Gun Safety

May 21, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for allowing me to speak on this very important issue, and I thank her for leading this Special Order on this important topic, which is gun safety, especially as it relates to school safety. Keeping all students and educators safe is a top priority. On Friday, we had another tragedy. A small town that few could point out on a map is now infamous. Santa Fe High School, near Galveston, Texas, experienced a mass shooting, leaving 10 dead: Eight students, two teachers. Several students said to the media, they knew this would eventually happen to them. Our thoughts and prayers are with those students and with the families suffering from acts of gun violence, but enough is enough.
May 15, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5242. This legislation under consideration today will improve our understanding about the role of school resource officers. But we must acknowledge that this bill barely scratches the surface of what is actually required to keep our schools safe, and I urge this body to do more. In the wake of February's tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, many have called for a so-called Federal focus on hardening of our schools, which includes increasing Federal dollars to hire more police officers and embracing the most harsh punishments for school discipline, and even allowing school teachers to carry firearms, despite the overwhelming evidence that many of these initiatives do more harm than good.
March 14, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the passage of H.R. 4909, the “STOP School Violence Act of 2018” [407-10]. Democrats will continue the conversation on school safety next week at our forum entitled, ‘Preventing School Shootings: A Comprehensive Approach.’ “Today’s vote is a positive first step, but more must be done. I am pleased that H.R. 4909 rejects President Trump and Secretary DeVos’ misguided proposal to arm teachers by prohibiting program funds from being used to buy guns or firearms training for school staff. While I applaud the bill’s provisions to support implementation of evidence-based staff training and school-based threat assessments, I remain concerned with any federal efforts to increase law enforcement presence in schools.
March 12, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Trump administration released their proposals for school safety. “Yesterday’s school safety proposals from the Trump administration are both inadequate and concerning. The administration has misplaced its focus on arming school personnel and dismantling civil rights protections for students instead of offering meaningful, evidence-based solutions to gun violence prevention. Our students and families do not need a federal Commission to study violence prevention, when real solutions that curb access to high-powered firearms and evidence-based violence prevention strategies are readily available.
February 15, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), a vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, released the following statement on the shooting yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida: “Once again our hearts go out to families and a community devastated by the epidemic of gun violence. While sending thoughts and prayers is important, they are useless without meaningful action. Yesterday was the 18th school shooting and 29th mass shooting in 2018 alone. When is enough finally enough? We cannot accept these atrocities as inevitable. While the parents and loved ones of the victims try to bear the unbearable, Congress cannot sit idly by. We have the power to take action and I urge my colleagues to bring commonsense legislation to the floor.”
October 2, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), a vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, issued the following statement on last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada: “This morning Americans awoke to news of the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the survivors of this horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The frequency of mass shootings are far too common in our country. No one deserves to bear witness to the type of carnage that occurred in Las Vegas last night.
June 14, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the shooting at a congressional baseball practice earlier this morning. Congressman Scott was not at the practice. “I was shocked and saddened to learn of this morning’s shooting at a Congressional baseball practice. My thoughts and prayers are with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, my colleagues, their staff, their families, and the United States Capitol Police Officers who responded heroically to stop the shooter. I will continue to monitor developments of this horrific incident closely.”
April 16, 2017 In The News
This weekend, our nation marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific mass shooting that occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. That tragedy claimed the lives of 32 people and left 17 others wounded. The effects still resonate, in our commonwealth and the nation. As we take time to remember, mourn and celebrate the lives of the students and faculty members who died, members of Congress must come together to address the epidemic of gun violence so as to make sure tragedies such as the one at Virginia Tech and so many others never happen again.
July 17, 2016 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement on the shooting that killed three police officers and wounded several others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: “Cowardly acts like today’s attack in Baton Rouge have no place in our society and those responsible must be brought to justice. Violence against the men and women who have sworn to serve and protect our communities will not bring about the reforms that so many Americans and those in the law enforcement community wish to achieve. We must join together to end the division and tension that leads to this type of violence. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen officers and the entire Baton Rouge police department.”