Roby, Collins Introduce Legislation to More Effectively Prosecute Violent Criminals

June 27, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) and U.S. Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced H.R. 3533, the Combat Violent Crime Act, to update current U.S. Code to allow for more effective prosecution of individuals who commit violent crimes.

“I introduced this legislation last Congress, but it is even more timely today due to the Supreme Court’s action this week to strike down part of a statute to more effectively prosecute dangerous criminals,” said Representative Roby. “I am pleased that Ranking Member Collins joined me in introducing this legislation to give law enforcement the authority they need to combat violent crime in our communities. Our nation’s highest Court made it crystal clear that Congress should act on this, and that is exactly what we are doing with H.R. 3533.”

“Earlier this week, the Supreme Court issued a decision invalidating part of a statute that protects people from dangerous criminals,” said Ranking Member Collins. “In his opinion, Justice Gorsuch said it is Congress’ responsibility to clarify the statute. I am pleased to partner with Representative Roby on legislation to improve the law so that we keep Americans safe and deal justly with violent criminals.”

On June 24, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down current U.S. criminal code related to crimes committed with firearms, ruling the existing statute as unconstitutionally vague. In his opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch stated that Congress should update and clarify this language.

Current U.S. Code states: (3) For purposes of this subsection the term “crime of violence” means an offense that is a felony and – (A) has an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or (B) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

H.R. 3533 would strike “by its nature, involves” and insert “based on the facts underlying the offense, involved.” The legislation would also strike “may be used” and insert “may have been used.”