Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who was asked by CBS about the recent Florida school shooting stated he was “fine” with getting rid of “any instrumentality that converts a semi-automatic to a fully automatic.”
Partial transcript as follows:
NANCY CORDES: Right now we turn to Congressman Trey Gowdy, the head of the House Oversight Committee who is in Greenville, South Carolina this morning. Mr. Chairman, good morning. What do you say to these kids who are argue that politicians like you who take money from the NRA have blood on their hands?
GOWDY: Well, first thing I would say to, to those children and my own is I’m sorry that you have grown up in a generation that has only known violence and there is no sanctuary, there is no place of refuge. The schools aren’t safe, the churches aren’t safe, the concerts.
So I applaud their activism, I would encourage them to look at three components. The shooter himself, the instrumentality, and then any, any form of mitigation, whether it is magazine capacity, whether it is the speed with which the projectile is expelled. But, but you have to look at all three, you have to look at the shooter, and you have to look at the instrumentality by which that shooter is killing people. I applaud their activism and, and if I were them, I’d be as angry as they are.
CORDES: When you talk about instrumentality, are you suggesting that weapons that can kill or injure many people in a short period of time should be more restricted than they are now?
GOWDY: Well, you can certainly look at that. But of course Nancy, some, some of the more heinous mass killing we’ve had involve semi automatic pistols. And I, I have had people, when I was a prosecutor, kill, kill with all manner of instrumentality, from shovels to bricks to rope to hands. You’re equally dead. So–
CORDES: But you, but you can’t kill 500 people–
GOWDY: –whether it’s a semi-automatic pistol–
CORDES: Wait a minute, Congressman, in Las Vegas the shooter was able to injure 500 people in minutes. You can’t do that with a shovel or a brick.
GOWDY: No, you cannot. And that’s why I say you should look at the instrumentality and, and, and magazine capacity and the speed with which the projectiles, including bump stocks. But you also have to look at the shooter. And Nancy, in, in, in almost half the instances of mass shootings, there was notice provided to someone that the person was going to do what, what he ultimately did.
In school shootings, almost 80% of the time there was notice provided. So you have to look at all of it. If you only look at the instrumentality and you don’t look at the person who’s pulling the, the trigger, then I think you’re doing a disservice to everyone who wants to see an end to, to killings, including mass killings.
CORDES: So I think what these kids are saying is we have looked at all of these things, we just haven’t done anything. Why, for example, hasn’t Congress taken action on bump stocks? This is something that both sides agree should be curtailed. If you’re saying that, you know, we need to make it easier for law enforcement to step in when someone exhibits symptoms of violence, why don’t we make it easier for them to do that?
GOWDY: Well, you could. You could impose a duty to disclose. We have it in other categories of law. You could impose a, a, a lawful duty to disclose if, if you hear that someone is planning to do something. And the shooting in Florida, you didn’t need a duty to disclose.
People did come forward and put the F.B.I. on notice. You know, bump stocks turn, turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons. So fully-automatic weapons are already illegal. So I, I, I am fine with doing away with any instrumentality that converts a semi-automatic to a fully-automatic.
CORDES: So you’re a member of leadership–
GOWDY: But Nancy, we–
CORDES: –when will we see a vote on that?
GOWDY: I’m not a member of leadership, but I’m happy to ask them when and if we’re going to see a vote. I don’t know that it requires a vote of Congress, I think ATF could regulate bump stocks tomorrow.