Home U.S. House votes, largely along party lines, to pass red-flag law bill

U.S. House votes, largely along party lines, to pass red-flag law bill

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The U.S. House voted 224-202, on a nearly party-line vote, to pass the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which empowers family members and law enforcement to seek a federal court order to temporarily remove access to guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or others, while incentivizing states to adopt their own so-called “red flag laws.”

In recent weeks, Americans have witnessed horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York – and just this past weekend, at least 13 mass shootings terrorized more communities across the country. A study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that most mass shooters exhibit warning signs before carrying out an attack. But without an extreme risk law, family and law enforcement lack the ability to temporarily disarm individuals considering acts of violence.

“America’s daily drumbeat of gun violence continues to inflict terror and grief on families in Virginia and across the nation,” Fourth District Democrat Donald McEachin said.  “Building on yesterday’s passage of our landmark gun safety package, House Democrats proudly passed another common-sense measure: empowering communities to keep guns away from those who pose a threat to themselves or others.  By allowing federal courts to issue extreme risk protection orders, this new legislation will help keep deadly weapons out of dangerous hands. As we fight to get life-saving gun safety legislation over the finish line, House Democrats remain committed to bringing our nation’s gun violence epidemic to an end once and for all.”

The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act will allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a federal court for an extreme risk protection order, empowering federal judges to prevent tragic shootings by temporarily removing firearms from potentially dangerous individuals.

The legislation will also establish a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice, incentivizing more states to allow their courts to take this same life-saving action.

“Creating and implementing a nationwide extreme risk law will help keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others, and it’s another step we are taking to reduce the epidemic of gun violence, save lives, and make our communities safer,” Second District Democrat Elaine Luria said. “I am committed to curbing gun violence and keeping people safe in Coastal Virginia and across the country through commonsense measures while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Eighth District Democrat Don Beyer shared a tragic personal story on the issue before the vote.

“In 2014. I had a long conversation with a friend who was deeply depressed,” Beyer said. “He was having trouble getting out of bed, trouble finding a psychiatrist who would treat him. I made some calls to try to find somebody, and then didn’t do anything but worry – and was stunned when he got out of bed to go buy a gun and [died by suicide]. To this day, I so regret that I did not call his wife and [go] together to the court to get him on the background check list.

“We’ve all lost too many friends, and we all are grief-struck by the massacre of children. Red flags may not protect everyone, but it will save many lives, and it’s a start,” Beyer said.

Story by Chris Graham



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