Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) discussed the progress on his proposals to reduce gun violence. Yesterday, Rubio co-introduced the NICS Denial Notification Act and the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. Rubio also urged the Justice and Education Departments to revise guidelines for reporting threats to local law enforcement. Last week, Rubio outlined a multipronged plan to address gun violence following the Parkland tragedy. Several of Rubio’s proposals have already gained promising momentum.
 
Excerpts of Rubio’s remarks are below, and a video of his remarks can be found here.
 
“We have to find a way not just to live together but to thrive as a nation. We have to find a way to keep our children safe. If we keep that in mind, I am sure that we can work together to create real, enduring consensus on solutions, on things we agree on to stop this from happening again and we can have respectful debates and productive debates on the issues upon which our nation and this body are still divided.”
 
On his plan to address gun violence…
“Last week I came to the floor and announced a number of initiatives that I hope the Senate will move forward on to make sure that these things never happen again. And it's important to begin by recognizing that those of us who serve here, we are in the business of passing laws, of making public policy. And making public policy isn't just about coming up with the best idea that you can come up with. It's also about coming up with the best idea that you can come up with that actually has a chance of being implemented into law. And what that means in order to get something done is you need 60 votes in the Senate on virtually any issue. You need a majority of the votes in the House, and you need a White House that's willing to sign it. If those three things don't happen, you do not have a law. So what we spent time trying to do is identify what can we get 60 votes for in the senate, can pass in the House, and be signed by the president that will make a difference? That's been our criteria.”
 
On the STOP School Violence Act…
“It is a bill that was innovated by Sandy Hook Promise. It is their number one legislative priority right now and it is a bill I cannot imagine having a single no vote in the United States Senate. What the bill does, it basically creates federal grant program to the Department of Justice for local -- for states and through the states' local communities to create risk assessment programs. In essence to have programs in place to train administrators, teachers, students to identify the warning signs of someone who may hurt themselves or other people. It also sets up task forces … to monitor these students, to identify them collectively. “
 
On the Lie and Try Bill…
“Another problem that we've identified in the broader scheme of things is that local enforcement may not always have sufficient information to investigate individuals who try to buy a firearm knowing that they are prohibited from doing so.”
 
On the PROMISE Initiative…
“Yesterday I wrote to the Department of Education and the Department of Justice and I asked them to immediately revise this directive from 2014 and any associated guidance to make sure that schools are appropriately reporting violence and dangerous actions to local law enforcement. In addition to asking them to do that proactively, I will also be introducing legislation to make sure the federal government does not fail our children in this way.”
 
On Gun Violence Restraining Order Legislation and Due Process…
“There has to be a way to identify and prevent circumstances like what occurred in Parkland, while also preserving the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding Americans and the right to due process. That's why we are working to try to figure out a way to encourage states to enact policies like the gun violence restraining order so that local law enforcement and families who have identified someone who is at risk of either taking their own life or hurting other people could petition a court to obtain a court order that allows law enforcement to temporarily either stop that person from buying a gun or possessing that gun and the ammunition. This would put power back in the hands of people who see something not just to say to something, but they have the opportunity to do something about it.”