Gun Safety

Congressman Scott is a vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which was convened by House Speaker 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 31, 2019 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement: “My thoughts are foremost with those affected-the victims, their families, and survivors as Virginia Beach and the entire Commonwealth is left devastated by another mass shooting. Gun violence should not be a normal occurrence in our communities. The President and Congress have a basic responsibility to keep Americans safe, and elected officials are not powerless to stop this. My colleagues and I have to do more to keep our communities safe.”
February 27, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), a Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019: “For far too long Congress has sat idly by as countless Americans have lost their lives to senseless gun violence. That ended today with the House passing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. Requiring background checks for all firearm purchases and closing the gun show loophole both have large public support, and they are an important first step in making our communities safer. Today’s vote reflects our commitment to addressing the gun violence epidemic in our country. It is now up to the Senate to follow our lead and pass this long overdue bill.”
February 14, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “One year ago, 17 students and educators lost their lives in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. For many of us, that day will always be remembered for the mixture of shock, frustration, and profound grief we felt as we witnessed another mass shooting at an American school. Today, we join together as one nation to honor the memories of the people we lost, comfort the families and friends they left behind, and reflect on our responsibility to prevent this from happening again.”
December 18, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the release of the Trump administration’s school safety commission report. “The Federal School Safety Commission Report is not a serious or good-faith effort to make schools safer for students and educators. The report’s recommendations ignore both the research consensus and the demands of students and parents for tougher gun laws. Instead, the report promotes a longstanding, conservative agenda to undermine policies that protect students’ civil rights.
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.”