Senate Judiciary Commitee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced details Thursday morning for hearing to review law enforcement, government breakdowns and ignored warnings before the Parkland, Florida school shooting two weeks ago.
"In addition to legislation, this committee has an important oversight role to play. The great tragedy of the Parkland shooting is that it was preventable. The FBI and local law enforcement failed to act on credible tips that should have neutralized the killer and gotten him help," Grassley said during a Commitee executive business meeting Thursday. "At my direction, the FBI and social media companies like Google and Facebook are briefing committee staff on their response to warnings about the shooter’s behavior."
"It has been clear from these briefings that the systems designed to prevent troubled individuals like the Parkland Shooter from engaging in violent acts failed miserably," he continued. "Government must be held accountable for its mistakes. It is also clear that private companies can do more to prevent future mass shootings by identifying threatening content and warning law enforcement officials."
Grassley said the hearing on the breakdown prior to Parkland will be held on March 14, 2018. He also expanded his remarks and discussed ways the Senate can work together to prevent school shootings in the future.
"Schools should be refuges of learning, freedom, and peace, not a setting for violent crime," Grassley said. "Events like this require that we come together in a clear and bipartisan manner and find a way forward. There is a tendency among Republicans and Democrats on gun policy to hold out for legislation favored by groups on the extremes of the ideological spectrum. We appear to be in a unique moment where there is a real opportunity to work together on legislation that can advance a common cause: a safer and more civil society."
Grassley said he spoke with Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator John Cornyn about how to move forward legislatively to make schools safer. He also backed ATF efforts to ban bump stocks and said he is willing to propose the devices be outlawed legislatively.
"I believe we should work to protect constitutional rights and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous persons. To this end, there have been a number of legislative proposals. This includes the STOP School Violence Act – which I am cosponsoring – and I thank Senator Hatch for his hard work on this bill," Grassley said. "This act reauthorizes the Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states to help our schools implement proven, evidence-based programs that stop school violence before it happens. It will also provide grants to schools looking to improve their infrastructure to prevent and deter potential school shooters. Another proposed bill that would look to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is the Fix NICS bill."