Legislative Updates: 115th Congress
Rep. Deutch introduces Jake Laird Act
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN-05), Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI-06), and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) introduced the Jake Laird Act. This bill gives grants to encourage states to adopt laws allowing law enforcement to seize and retain firearms from individuals who are determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others.
H.R. 5717 is named after Jake Laird, an Indianapolis, Indiana police officer who was shot and killed in 2004 in the line of duty by a man who struggled with mental illness.
Many gun-related crimes are perpetrated by mentally unstable individuals who should not be allowed to obtain firearms. These people pose a danger to themselves as well as others, and obtaining a firearm only magnifies this danger. The Jake Laird Act would allow law enforcement nationwide to take preemptive action to protect those with mental disabilities and those around them. Our law enforcement must be given the tools necessary to do their jobs properly, and this act would give them those tools. The Jake Laird Law, on which this act is based, has been used over 600 times successfully in Indianapolis since 2005. The Indiana law serves as a successful, bipartisan model for common sense gun control. For this reason, it must be made a federal law.
“I made a promise to the Stoneman Douglas community that I’d do everything I can, work with any Member of Congress, and consider all options to help prevent gun violence,” said Congressman Deutch. “The Jake Laird Act is based on an existing state model that was passed with bipartisan support after the tragic death of Officer Laird. We are introducing this successful model in Congress, also with bipartisan support, to help the remaining states and territories without gun violence restraining order laws pass what could be live-saving tools.”The text of H.R.5717 is available here.