A prominent House Democrat will introduce legislation Thursday requiring colleges to publicly disclose their gun policies and report when crimes committed on campus involve guns.
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) argued this information is vital to policymakers and prospective students. Its disclosure is not currently required under the Clery Act, which orders colleges that receive federal funds to share data about crime on campus.
“We put safety ratings on our cars and warning labels on our medications; students should be able to make informed decisions about the safety of their college campuses, too,” Ellison wrote in a letter to colleagues. “Americans have a right to know if their fellow students are bringing guns to class.”
Ellison’s “Campus Gun Policy Transparency Act” is arriving as House Republicans threaten to punish Democrats for staging a daylong sit-in on the House floor in June. Lawmakers involved in the sit-in, including Ellison, were protesting the GOP’s refusal to hold votes on two gun control measures after a mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.
“You will see appropriate measures taken in the very near future,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill. “Are you going to let the House stand with that behavior going forward?”
McCarthy did not elaborate on his plans to penalize Democrats.
Ellison, co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, has argued gun deaths should be treated “like it is a health issue, a disease.”
His new bill requires colleges to include information about their campus gun policies on their websites and promotional materials, and in their disclosures under the Clery Act. The bill would also create a standardized system for collecting data on the presence of guns in campus crime.