WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Parents of victims killed in recent mass shootings in New York state and Texas, as well as a fourth grader who survived last week’s attack, will speak before a congressional panel next week as U.S. lawmakers consider new measures to curb gun violence.
The mother of one of the 10 people killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, will join the parents of one of the 19 children gunned down at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school at the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee’s hearing on June 8, the panel said in a statement on Friday. Miah Cerrillo, a fourth-grader at the school, will also appear.
The public hearing comes after the United States, which has a higher rate of gun deaths than any other wealthy nation,
has seen a spate of especially horrific mass killings in recent weeks, including the largest mass school shooting in nearly 10 years.
Two teachers were also killed May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde by an 18-year-old gunman who was fatally shot by law enforcement officers. Two weeks earlier, 10 Black people were killed in Buffalo by an 18-year-old avowed white supremacist who was subsequently arrested.
More shootings have occurred since then, including at a medical building at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, hospital and at an Iowa church this week.
Democratic President Joe Biden, in a prime-time address to the nation on Thursday, called for sweeping gun reforms and urged Congress to act.
Next week, the Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote on a bill approved this week by the House Judiciary Committee that would raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic weapons to 21 from 18. No Republicans on the panel voted for the measure, which would also outlaw high-capacity ammunition magazines for civilian use and crack down on gun trafficking and so-called straw weapons purchases.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Richard Cowan; Editing by Katharine Jackson and Jonathan Oatis)