Congresswoman Jackie Speier talks gun violence, mental health bills after Atlanta, Boulder shootings

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's the question on a lot of people's minds: What is congress doing to address gun violence and mental health issues in this country? Congresswoman Jackie Speier says several bills are either passed in the House or being introduced regarding this hot topic.

"We already have a law on the books that says you can't buy a gun if you are a felon or if you've committed a domestic violence offense or you are deemed mentally ill by the courts -- that's the law. Now, that law was passed many years ago and since then more and more sales take place at gun shows and online and person-to-person, so all that (new bill) does is close the loophole and yet, we can't seem to get traction on the Senate side," Speier said.

Speier also discussed an assault weapons ban bill in the works and a red flag bill. "The red flag laws prevent the purchase of a gun by a family member if the family goes through the process, through the courts, of trying to withhold the purchase of guns for a family member who they think is unstable," Speier said.

What about gun laws in California? "I was one of the authors of the assault weapons ban in California," Speier said. "I still am on the assembly floor making the case and I had one of my republican colleagues say to me, 'Ms. Speier have you ever shot an assault weapon?' As if that was a basis on which you could carry that bill, and I turned around and said 'have you ever been shot by an assault weapon?' Of course, he sat down and the bill flew off the Assembly floor... So we have really strong laws in California, but our borders are porous so the guns can find their way into the state."

Rep. Speier was referring to when she was shot and left for dead in Guyana.

RELATED: Left for dead at Jonestown 40 years ago: A look back at the horrifying ordeal by survivor Congresswoman Jackie Speier

You can watch more from her interview in the video above.

Congresswoman Speier also invited elementary and middle school girls to the "When I Grow Up" event which is on Saturday, March 27, at 10 a.m. It is a virtual event for girls ages 9 to 15 to inspire, empower, and get them dreaming about their future. You can sign up for the event here.
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