Tags: Marco Rubio | Mass Shootings | marco rubio | mass shootings | florida | study | task force

Sen. Rubio Calls for Task Force to Study Mass Shootings

Sen. Rubio Calls for Task Force to Study Mass Shootings
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 February 2018 09:38 AM

A task force of experts should study the wave of mass shootings, Sen. Marco Rubio said, Politico reported on Tuesday.

The Florida Republican also has signaled a willingness to expand background checks, consider a "gun-violence restraining order" to take away weapons from those accused of domestic violence, consider banning bump fire conversion kits that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns, and improve violence-prevention programs to detect signs of trouble.

A day after the Feb. 14 killing of 17 people at a Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor about the need to find answers to the growing problems of mass shootings.

But Democrats brushed aside Rubio's remarks as all talk and no action, pointing out that Rubio said, "If we do something, it should be something that works. And the struggle up to this point has been that most of the proposals that have been offered would not have prevented, not just yesterday's tragedy, but any of those in recent history."

Rep. Jim Hines slammed Rubio for saying that the violence wouldn't have been stopped by stricter gun laws, according to The Washington Times.

Himes, a Connecticut Democrat, said that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School proves the opposite, because after the tragedy the state passed stricter gun laws and has resulted in a decrease in gun-related deaths.

Democrats also stressed that Rubio has an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association, and voted for numerous bills expanding gun rights, Politico reported.

Still, any sort of support for a task force to study mass shootings is a first for Rubio, who said he also was concerned that such a examination could be hampered by the Dickey Amendment, first passed in 1996 and approved yearly since, that restricts federal funding for research on gun violence and has led to a de facto ban.

However, he did not call for the amendment's repeal.

Rubio did offer support for background checks that were more extensive, although he added that mental health and privacy rights advocates worry about the stigma of giving gun sellers access to mental health information, because some might not seek treatment if they think they'll lose their ability to hunt.

Rubio also defended President Donald Trump for reversing an Obama-era policy that required the Social Security Administration to give the names of people "adjudicated as mental defective" to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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Sen. Marco Rubio says task force of experts should study the wave of mass shootings and signaled a willingness to expand background checks.
marco rubio, mass shootings, florida, study, task force
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 09:38 AM
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