Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Santa Monica), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced new legislation Thursday aimed at banning access to certain types of weapons while strengthening the nation’s mental health infrastructure in response to the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn. and Santa Monica.
H.R. 2910, the Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Act of 2013, would prohibit the sale (including over the Internet) of gun kits like those used in the Santa Monica shooting in June, which allowed the shooter, 23-year-old John Zawahri, to exploit a loophole in state and federal gun laws to purchase a partially completed gun online.
Zawahri had applied to purchase a gun but was denied before he went online.
The bill would also authorize additional research on serious mental illness, improve access to mental health services for all, and reinforce existing government authorities to carry out public health research on gun violence, representatives from Waxman’s office said.
“Preventing and reducing gun violence ought to be a bipartisan national priority, and I intend to work with leaders from both parties to pass this bill into law,” Waxman said in a news release. “We need to learn lessons from past shootings to avoid future gun violence. This should be a joint effort by federal, state, and local officials to make sure these tragedies are not repeated.”
Waxman originally introduced the bill at a forum at Santa Monica City Hall last month.