California Congressional Hearing Tackles Gun Violence on Sandy Hook Anniversary - NBC New York
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California Congressional Hearing Tackles Gun Violence on Sandy Hook Anniversary

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    California Congressional Hearing Tackles Gun Violence on Sandy Hook Anniversary

    U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena is hosting hearing about reducing gun violence on Monday on the third anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead. Kris Sanchez reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 14, 2015)

    Less than two weeks after 14 people were fatally shot in San Bernardino, a California congressman is hosting a hearing Monday aimed at finding ways to reduce gun violence.

    It's the latest step by proponents of stricter gun laws who say Congress must do more after a series of shootings that have left dozens dead across the country.

    The hearing at the state Capitol in Sacramento falls on the third anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, chairman of House Democrats' Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, is leading the hearing. His office said the panel discussion was scheduled a month ago, before the San Bernardino shootings by a married couple who authorities say were inspired by a foreign terror organization.

    Invited witnesses include a gun show dealer from Arizona and a gun club owner from California, along with a former gang member, law enforcement officials and gun control advocates.

    California already has some of the nation's strictest gun control laws, including universal background checks for buyers of guns and limits on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

    But Thompson is co-sponsoring a House bill that would require nationwide background checks at gun shows and for those who buy guns from individuals online. Last week, he called for Congress to end its 19-year ban on federal research into the causes of gun violence.

    Thompson led Democrats last week in forcing a series of procedural votes to protest Republican House leaders' refusal to allow a debate on federal gun control legislation.