Sponsors of Bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order Act Respond to President Trump’s Statement on Mass Shootings
U.S. Representatives Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Don Beyer (D-VA), the sponsor and lead co-sponsors of the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Act, today responded to President Trump’s televised address regarding the weekend’s mass shootings, during which he announced his support “for ‘Red Flag’ laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders.”
“President Trump should match his words with action and support our bipartisan plan to promote state-level extreme risk protection orders,” said Rep. Deutch. “We can move quickly to pass this bill and empower more law enforcement agencies with life-saving tools to intervene when people may pose a threat to themselves or others. These policies have already saved lives in states across the country. What are we waiting for?”
“We must take every step we can to end the gun violence epidemic that plagues our nation,” said Rep. Carbajal. “While the president was inaccurate in his remarks about many of the causes and responses to mass shootings, he got one thing right—we must pass extreme risk laws to make sure that people who shouldn’t have guns don’t get them. It is my hope that the president and people on both sides of the aisle will support our bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order Act.”
“I welcome the President’s endorsement of Extreme Risk Protection Orders as effective measures to reduce gun violence,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Protecting our communities from the horrors witnessed in El Paso and Dayton requires Republicans and Democrats to come together to find bipartisan policy solutions. Our legislation does just that.”
“The horrific loss of life from mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and elsewhere require real action from our nation’s leaders,” said Rep. Beyer. “The President’s attempts to focus on mental health and ‘video games’ as causes of mass shootings are old NRA talking points designed to avoid the central issue of gun violence. I am also saddened but not surprised that the President took no responsibility for the ways in which his own rhetoric – repeatedly attacking immigrants and racial minorities – has empowered hateful extremists. If the President really wants to help, one obvious step would be to ask more Republicans in Congress to support the bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would address both mass shootings and suicides in a way that would help save lives while also respecting Americans’ due process rights. Whether his words are meant in earnest or fleeting rhetoric, as was sadly the case after Parkland, my colleagues and I will redouble our efforts to advance this vital legislation in the House.”
Carbajal, Fitzpatrick, Deutch, and Beyer re-introduced H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, on February 14, 2019, one year after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The bipartisan legislation would encourage states to allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a demonstrated threat to themselves or others. The bill has 138 cosponsors in the House as well as a Senate companion version introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).