Rep. Trey Gowdy: ‘You Could Impose a Duty to Disclose’

By Melanie Arter | February 19, 2018 | 4:04pm EST
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) (Screenshot)

( - Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that there needs to be “a duty to disclose” when someone exhibits symptoms of violence so that it’s easier for law enforcement to intervene.

“You could impose a duty to disclose. We have it in other categories of law. You could impose a lawful duty to disclose if you hear that someone is planning to do something. In the shooting in Florida, you didn't need a duty to disclose. People did come forward and put the FBI on notice,” Gowdy said.


“Bump stocks turn semi-automatic into fully automatic weapons. So, fully automatic weapons are already illegal. So, I am fine with doing away with any instrumentality that converts a semiautomatic to a fully automatic,” he said.

Gowdy said that the ATF could regulate bump stocks, and it won’t require a vote from Congress.

In a message to the students who are calling for more gun control in the wake of the Parkland shooting, Gowdy said he’s sorry they “have grown up in a generation that has only known violence and there's no sanctuary, there's no place of refuge.”

“The schools aren't safe. The churches aren't safe, the concerts. So, I applaud their activism,” the congressman said.

“I would encourage them to look at three components, the shooter himself, the instrumentality, and then any form of mitigation, whether it is magazine capacity, whether it is the speed with which the projectile is expelled, but you have to look at all three,” he said.

“When you talk about instrumentality, are you suggesting that weapons that can kill or injury many people in a short period of time should be more restricted than they are now?” CBS’s Nancy Cordes asked.

“Well, you can certainly look at that, but, of course, Nancy, some of the more heinous mass killings we have had involved semiautomatic pistols, and I have had people, when I was a prosecutor, kill with all manner of instrumentality, from shovels to bricks to hands. You're equally dead,” Gowdy said.

“But you can't kill 500 people -- 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,” Cordes said.

“No, you cannot, and that's why I say you should look at the instrumentality and magazine capacity and the speed with which the projectiles, including bump stocks -- but you also have to look at the shooter,” Gowdy said.

“And, Nancy, 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,” the congressman said.

“In school shootings, almost 80 percent 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 is pulling the trigger, then I think you're doing a disservice to everyone who wants to see an end to killings, including mass killings,” Gowdy added.


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