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Rubio, Nelson Unveil Gun Violence Prevention Order Proposal

Mar 7, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today unveiled legislation on gun violence prevention orders, which is included in Rubio’s plan to address gun violence. A one-pager is available in English and Spanish.
Yesterday, Rubio discussed progress on his proposals to reduce gun violence. Earlier this week, 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.
A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below:
In the process of learning about this tragedy in Parkland, one of the things that I learned – that we learned – is that there was really not many tools available to law enforcement or to families when they realize that someone in their home or someone in their community is either a danger to themselves or a danger to others. And had that tool existed, it is possible that a family member or a member of law enforcement could have gone to a court and gotten a court order by showing probable cause for a temporary one, and then clear and convincing evidence for a permanent one, that this individual was dangerous. That this individual was going to hurt someone. And as a result, not only should they not be allowed to buy guns, but the guns they have and ammunition should be taken away.
And so today we are here to announce our intention to file legislation to encourage states to do what Florida hopefully will do today, and that’s enact their own gun violence protection orders. It would incentivize this through the granting of COPS grants over the next five years. And this grant program, under the Department of Justice, would provide funding assistance to states to implement their own qualifying gun violence protection orders.

And we believe that by incentivizing the states to do this, we are creating the possibility not just for six states to have it after today, but hopefully every state has a mechanism available to law enforcement and/or to families to prevent dangerous individuals from being able to take the next step and actually take the lives of innocent people.

One of the things I’ve done is I’ve tried to kind of create two tiers here. One is the things I think there’s common ground on, and you’re seeing what those are — whether it’s the “Lie and Try” bill to fix the background checks system, the FICS Nix system, and hopefully gun violence protection order incentives for states to stop school violence. These are things that have broad support. And the House is going to take up the STOP School Violence bill next week and pass it.
The second are the things that are a little bit more difficult to do, but that I believe we should have a debate on, whether it’s the age or some of the other issues that we’ve discussed. Senator Nelson has mentioned some of the ones he supports. Those are the issues have been around before, but I don’t think that we should keep that from getting us to do the things at the front end that we agree on, and I actually think that if you begin to do the things you agree on it creates a level of momentum that allows you to keep going and doing more.
These are not small things. They are meaningful. They don’t go as far as people want, but I think they are steps in the right direction. And we are in the job of passing laws and that means 60 votes in the Senate and a majority in the House, and a president that will sign it—ultimately that can withstand constitutional review in a court of law. Our job is to make things better, whether it’s across multiple steps or in one big sweeping piece of legislation.
These are things that I personally believe we can get passed, and that’s what we’re trying to do is put these things out there, show leadership that these have broad support. Let’s start acting, but not with the argument that ‘That’s it. We’re done once we’re done with this.’ I believe the country wants to have a broader debate, and we can and should, but that shouldn’t stop us from doing what we agree on.