NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The massacre at Columbine High School happened 22 years ago today. As the nation deals with a new wave of gun violence, a law named for a victim of a different mass shooting is making its way through Congress.
A bill requiring universal background checks for buying guns has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but those guns need ammunition.
“Any individual that is prohibited from purchasing guns is also prohibited from purchasing ammunition,” explained U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a democrat representing Florida’s 23rd District. “That’s current law.”
Some democrats are pushing for a new law, one that would mandate background checks for ammo. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is one of them.
“The point is to keep ammunition, as well as guns, out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves or others,” Blumenthal said.
It is called “Jaime’s Law” after Jaime Guttenberg, one of the victims of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Her father joined democrats in a virtual press conference and said Jaime should be wrapping up her senior year of high school right now, and going to prom.
“But instead, we are watching as others are living out these milestones and we are wondering, ‘why haven’t we done anything about gun violence yet?'” said Jaime’s father, Fred Guttenberg.
Guttenberg pointed out that it was 22 years ago today that two students killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado. The high-profile mass shootings continue with the FedEx shootings in Indianapolis just days ago.
“Today is the day that we say ‘enough. Enough dead Americans,'” Guttenberg said. “Enough with the mass shootings. Enough of doing nothing.”
Jaime’s Law would not restrict who can buy ammunition. It would require ammunition buyers to undergo an instant background check using the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System.
That would cause the existing rules actually to be enforced.
“The lack of enforcement and resources will hobble and impede any law, and we owe it to our law enforcement authorities, and to the laws that we pass, to make sure that they are real and effective,” said Blumenthal.
Jaime’s law is being introduced in both houses of Congress.