Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), joined by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Jack Reed (D-RI), today held a press conference to introduce legislation on “red flag” laws, which is included in his plan to address gun violence.

A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below. A broadcast-quality version is available here.

RUBIO: Thank you guys for being here today. I’m happy to be here on this issue. Wish it wasn’t preceded by the terrible tragedy that has caused us to move forward on it. But we’ve been talking for some time about extreme risk protection orders. Today we’re here to unveil that bill. As you can see it’s bipartisan. The State of Florida passed one a few weeks ago, and in that time, there’s been at least three documented attempts in which it’s either in the process of being used or has been used. The Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday, late last night, that it had been used on someone at the University of Central Florida, who admitted to police that he was one bad incident in life away from taking the lives of someone in a mass shooting.
 
A few days earlier, we had another report in one of the Florida press outlets that someone in Broward or Palm Beach County … it had been used to remove firearms from someone who is dangerous. And, as we saw a few days ago, the court has applied for one in the case of the brother of the shooter in Parkland.
 
These extreme risk protection orders are, in my view, one of the most effective things that states can do to address it. In a significant majority of these cases involving mass shootings, the shooter has told people way ahead of time of what they intend to do. The signs are there months, and sometimes years, in advance. That includes the shooter in Parkland. This is someone that as early as 2016, authorities were concerned about. There had been a recommendation that he be Baker Act-ed. These tools now give authorities the ability to go in and take away their guns, with due process. But also to prevent them from buying others that could put people’s lives in danger.
 
So the goal of this legislation is to create an incentive for the rest of the states to do what Florida and five other states have already done, and that is put in place strong extreme protection risk orders so that law enforcement and family members have a tool that they can use to go to court, convince a judge that this person is dangerous, and take away their guns before they can take away anyone’s lives.