House Speaker Paul Ryan warned Thursday that it's essential to gather the facts of the Florida school shooting before making any judgments about what laws could be passed to help prevent another tragedy.
Ryan appeared on WIBC radio and addressed Wednesday's massacre, which resulted in 17 deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, with host Tony Katz.
"First, we don't know all the facts that one needs to know. What was the motivation, what was behind this, what laws were broken, if they were, beforehand. There's more questions than answers, I'd say, at this stage," Ryan said.
"Before I'd say that, this is just a horrific, horrific, horrible, horrible shooting. I think we need to pray, our hearts go out to these victims, and I think as public policymakers, we don't just knee-jerk before we even have all the facts and the data."
Ryan mentioned that the House passed a bill in December that patched some of the holes in the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That measure, however, was tacked onto another firearm bill that loosens some of the restrictions when it comes to concealed carry.
That bill is now in the Senate awaiting a vote.
"But I don't think that means you then roll the conversation into taking away citizens' rights — taking away a law-abiding citizen's rights. Obviously, this conversation typically goes there," Ryan said.
"Right now, I think we need to take a breath and collect the facts."
It was reported Thursday morning that the suspected shooter, a 19-year-old former student of the school, legally purchased the AR-15 that was used in the attack. His social media footprint revealed several images of firearms and violence.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.