On the first day of the new Congress, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought back the “Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act.”
On Thursday, Rubio paired up with Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, to reintroduce the bill which “will dedicate Department of Justice funds to incentivize states to give law enforcement the authority to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others the ability to purchase or possess firearms, while still providing due process protections.”
Rubio first unveiled the bill in March after the Parkland shooting. When he showcased the bill on Thursday, Rubio said his proposal will help protect students.
“A gun violence restraining order is one of the most effective policies we can put in place to prevent another tragedy like Parkland,” Rubio said. “We can help keep our schools and communities safe by empowering law enforcement or family members to use the judicial system to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. This idea has already proven successful in states like Florida, and it is my hope that this bill will get other states to do the same thing.”
“Our schools and many other public places are too often the targets of gun violence. We have a duty to do more to prevent this kind of violence. This bipartisan bill gives law enforcement and concerned family members a way to petition state and tribal courts to keep guns away from people who have exhibited serious, documented signs of danger and violence to themselves or others,” said Reed. “Red and blue states alike have been out front on this issue, adopting so-called ‘Red Flag’ laws. Our bipartisan initiative builds on these state solutions that already exist in states like Florida and Rhode Island, and provides incentives to effectively run and improve these important state efforts. It doesn’t force states to act, but encourages states that do. We must come together and do more to prevent gun violence, and passing this bipartisan bill would be a major step in the right direction.”
“Too many families, in too many communities across America, have felt the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence,” said King. “Far too often, we learn after the fact that many tragic mass shootings were committed by individuals who displayed warning signs of emotional or mental distress, and were still able to purchase a gun. These horrific losses could have possibly been prevented -- but they weren’t, and that’s simply unacceptable. This isn’t about infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun-owners – it’s about using due process to pursue a proactive approach to save lives by intervening early with those who have shown significant danger to harm themselves or others.”
“Gun violence is a problem that affects far too many communities across the country,” said Collins. “Family members and law enforcement officers are often in the best position to identify when someone poses an immediate threat to themselves or others, but in many cases they are unable to intervene before it is too late. Our bipartisan legislation would provide a way for them to temporarily prevent dangerous individuals from possessing firearms. Several states already have ‘red flag’ laws, which enhance gun safety while retaining important due process protections and preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”