Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4802, and I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, on November 1, 2013, an armed gunman entered Los Angeles International Airport with the intent to target and kill transportation security officers.
Tragically, on that day, Officer Hernandez, for whom the bill before us is named, became the first TSA employee to die in the line of duty. After shooting Officer Hernandez, the gunman proceeded past the checkpoint and entered the terminal where he shot and wounded two other transportation security officers and one passenger. The two TSA employees who were shot and wounded selflessly remained at the checkpoint after the shooting began, helping passengers escape to safety.
Despite communications challenges, the men and women of the Los Angeles World Airports' Police Department responded to the incident swiftly, taking the shooter down, and preventing the loss of more innocent lives.
Through our committee's oversight work, we have identified some commonsense steps that could be taken to mitigate any similar incident in the future.
H.R. 4802 embodies these commonsense steps. The bill does so by requiring airports to have plans in place for responding to active shooter scenarios and TSA to: provide information to airports on best practices for responding to a security incident at checkpoints, provide transportation security officers practical training for responding to active shooter scenarios, and conduct a nationwide assessment of the interoperable communications capabilities of the law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel
responsible for responding to an active shooter event at an airport.
The requirements contained in H.R. 4802 were informed by post-incident reviews of the LAX shooting conducted by TSA and the airport itself, along with the oversight work of the Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Transportation Security.
In March, the Subcommittee on Transportation Security held a site visit and field hearing at LAX to see firsthand how the tragedy unfolded and hear from TSA, airport officials, and the American Federation of Government Employees about how the response to a similar
incident could be improved going forward.
In May, the subcommittee held a followup hearing on the shooting here in Washington and heard from a diverse array of airport operators and law enforcement to inform us of how a nationwide template for preparedness and response at airports could be most effectively crafted.
I am proud of the product before the House today. It is the result of intense review of the tragic LAX shooting and, if enacted, would result in airports across the Nation being more prepared to respond to a similar incident in the future.
Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would like to commend Subcommittee Chairman HUDSON for the bipartisan and inclusive manner in which he has led the Subcommittee on Transportation Security's oversight and legislative efforts in response to the shooting at LAX.
I was pleased to join Ranking Member Thompson and Chairman McCaul as a cosponsor of H.R. 4802. I would also like to acknowledge Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whose district LAX is in, and Ms. Brownley of California, who were both at the subcommittee hearing in California to provide oversight and give their input as to how we can prevent these incidents from happening and give support, of course, to Mr. Hudson.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I would urge all of my colleagues to support this very important bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.