Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jack Reed (D-RI) in reintroducing the bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act. The legislation would encourage states to enact laws giving law enforcement or family members the authority to prevent individuals posing a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms, while still providing due process protections.
“Gun violence is a problem that affects far too many communities across the country,” said Senator 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.”
“Too many families, in too many communities across America, have felt the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence,” said Senator 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.”
A one-pager on the legislation is available here.