Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Mike Thompson, Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and House Democratic Leaders held a press conference at the Democratic Issues Conference announcing a comprehensive set of policy principles, developed by the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, geared toward reducing gun violence in America while also respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Below are the Leader's opening remarks:
Leader Pelosi. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman, to you and Mr. Crowley, thank you for a very excellent issues conference and tomorrow we'll have a full report on the greater array of issues that we addressed here that Members were engaged in a very positive back and forth. Last night, last night we heard from Vice President Joe Biden a person who has been tasked by the President of the United States to address the issue of gun violence prevention. I don't think in the history of our country you can name another person who's better prepared. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, when the first assault weapons ban was passed and the crime bill in the 1990s, the author, the author, really the father of the Violence Against Women Act -- all of these issues are issues of violence in our communities, and the rest, he has mastered, has great judgment and knowledge on.
Last month, all of us, including the President of the United States, took an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution and all of the rights contained therein. Every person who holds public office takes that oath -- to protect and defend, it is our first responsibility. Following what happened in Connecticut in December, the President has said: "This time it will be different," as we go forth to protect and defend.
Congressman Thompson took on the role of being the leader of our violence prevention task force, he'll talk about all of the groups that he met with and what the principles, I just want to salute him for his leadership, salute the Members of the Task Force for their very, very serious attention to this important issue. He is a veteran wounded in the Vietnam War, he is a gun owner, he is a hunter, he is a Co-Chair of the Sportsman's Caucus, he is a reasonable voice for leadership in this direction. So, his extraordinary leadership is one that you will hear for yourself as I yield the floor to him with gratitude and admiration for his work. Congressman Thompson.
[Leader Pelosi's Remarks at Conclusion of Opening Statements]
Leader Pelosi. As we open for questions, I want to join my colleagues in acknowledging, once again, the leadership of Congressman Mike Thompson on this, and the work of the task force, I also want to say that I endorse the principles that have been put forth and look forward to going forward to put what we can put into legislation, as Mr. Hoyer said again, in a common sense way.