Rep. Collins sponsors bipartisan bill to prevent mass violence

Rep. Doug Collins

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) on Feb. 25 sponsored a proposal that already has garnered 36 Republican cosponsors who support enhancing penalties for theft of a firearm from a federal firearms licensee and establishing a Mass Violence Prevention Center.

“Authorities have missed opportunities to stop mass shootings before they start and the Mass Violence Prevention Act combats that disturbing trend by ensuring local, state and federal law enforcement can better share information and coordinate responses to potential threats of mass violence,” Rep. Collins said.

The Mass Violence Prevention Act of 2019, H.R. 1339, aims to prevent such violence by reducing illegal firearm street sales, according to a statement released Monday by the House Judiciary Committee.

“It’s cruel to advance legislation that ignores the factors contributing to gun violence when tragedies like Columbine, Parkland and Aurora, Illinois have showed us again and again what we need to do to keep communities safe,” said Rep. Collins. 

If enacted, H.R. 1339 would organize a fusion center at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to coordinate with local, state and federal law enforcement on sharing and processing intelligence toward improving responses to potential mass violence, according to a summary of the bill provided by the Judiciary Committee. 

H.R. 1339 also would authorize the DOJ to hire more assistant U.S. attorneys to prosecute gun violence cases under Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Additionally, H.R. 1339 would increase penalties for burglary of a Federal Firearms Licensee, action that the committee said would deter criminals and provide law enforcement with a better tool to protect schools and communities, the committee said.

Among the Republicans cosponsoring H.R. 1339 are U.S. Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY), Bill Flores (R-TX), Don Bacon (R-NE), Steve Stivers (R-OH), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Dave Joyce (R-OH), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and French Hill (R-AR).

H.R. 1339 is under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.