Reps. Carbajal, Beyer, and Esty Urge Passage of Gun Violence Restraining Order Act
Washington, DC – Today, in response to the tragic shooting killing seventeen students and educators at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Representatives Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), and Don Beyer (VA-08) urged passage of H.R. 2598, the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act (GVRO). The bill would allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis.
“While the troubling details of the shooting in Florida are still emerging, it is clear this horrific act of violence was perpetrated by an individual in crisis,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I lost my older sister to suicide with a firearm at a young age. What I’ve learned since, is that temporarily preventing people from having a gun while in a state of crisis saves lives. No parent should send their children to school each day wondering if they will return home. We are once again reminded that we have a responsibility to act in Congress to change things. We owe these families more than just our thoughts and prayers.”
“Americans are grappling today with the fact that multiple warning signs failed to stop a young man from killing 17 students and teachers at a Florida school,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act is designed to prevent people who pose a threat to themselves or others from having access to guns; it is already saving lives in the states which have adopted it. After yesterday’s shooting Congress should immediately take up and pass this bill to extend these protections to the whole country.”
“Yesterday, the nation watched in horror once again as children fled their school, running past armored vehicles as a killer who authorities were allegedly warned was dangerous wreaked havoc on innocents with a semiautomatic rifle,” said Rep. Esty. “Connecticut has taken the commonsense step of creating a Gun Violence Restraining Order to protect families from high-risk, threatening individuals with access to high-powered weapons of war, and these restraining orders have saved real lives. It’s long past time for the country to follow Connecticut's example and do something to prevent the epidemic of gun violence tearing communities apart across America.”
The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act would incentivize states to enable family members or law enforcement officials to go to a court to seek a “gun violence prevention order,” to temporarily stop someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun.
The bill will also ensure that a court can issue a “gun violence prevention warrant,” allowing law enforcement to take temporary possession of firearms that are in an individual’s possession if the court determines that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others. Furthermore, it would ensure that law enforcement makes full use of all existing state and local gun databases when assessing a tip, warning, or request from a concerned family member or other close associate.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the companion legislation S. 1212 in the Senate.
Read the full bill text here.