Congressman’s legislation is combined with Georgia congresswoman’s Extreme Risk Protection Order Act
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, joined the House of Representatives Thursday in voting 224-202 to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which supports efforts to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to others or themselves.
The bill was supported by the Democratic majority and five Republicans who broke ranks and crossed the aisle. The Republicans were Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Rep. Chris Jacobs of New York.
The legislation included a bill authored by Rep. Carbajal, and his legislation is aimed at expanding the use of “red flag” laws nationwide to reduce gun-related deaths.
Rep. Carbajal’s bill was added to a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga. Both bills were passed together and are known collectively as the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act.
The legislation authored by Rep. Carnajal creates a grant program for the U.S. Department of Justice, which will provide funding to encourage states to adopt red flag laws and support the 19 states that have already implemented them.
Red flag laws allow for the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may pose a danger to others or themselves, and they can also temporarily prevent that individual from purchasing or owning a firearm.
Red flag legislation allows a police officer or family member to request an extreme risk protection order from a judge.
“In so many school shootings, from Parkland to Sandy Hook and Columbine to (the May 24) tragedy in Uvalde, there have been stark warning signs that red flag laws could have helped intervene and prevent these unspeakable tragedies,” Rep. Carbajal said Thursday. “These laws have been shown in my home state of California to take guns away from violent individuals, saving lives. These laws can prevent mass shootings, reduce suicides, disarm extremists and protect our communities.
“That is why I have pushed for my bill to expand and improve use of these emergency measures — and am proud to see members of both parties voting to advance it out of the House earlier today.”
Rep. McBath posted a tweet about the legislation after the House voted for it.
“The House just passed my #FERPO ‘red flag’ bill to provide loved ones and law enforcement the tools they need to help prevent mass shootings — with support from both Democrats and Republicans. This is the time. This is the moment. We must #EndGunViolence. When your life is shattered by gun violence – it rips you away from all you know. Our movement is strong because leaders like
@GabbyGiffords never give up. Fight, fight, fight. Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on us.”
Ms. Giffords was a congresswoman for Arizona’s 8th district from 2007-2012. She was shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2011, during a constituents meeting outside a Tucson area supermarket. Six people were killed, and 13 including Ms. Giffords were wounded.
On Tuesday, the Office of Budget and Management issued a statement urging the House to pass the legislation: “The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2022. The President has called on Congress to act now to reduce gun violence and save lives. This legislation would make significant progress toward keeping guns out of dangerous hands. The President has repeatedly called for Congress to pass Federal legislation on extreme risk protection orders and incentivize States to adopt similar laws of their own.
“An extreme risk protection order is a common-sense, effective measure to empower family members, health care providers, school officials, or law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily prevent a person from accessing firearms if they are found to be a danger to themselves or others. That is why, last year, the Department of Justice issued model legislation for states to consider on extreme risk protection orders that would allow such individuals to seek orders and intervene before warning signs turn into tragedy.
“H.R. 2377 would build on the Administration’s executive action to further expand the use of Federal extreme risk protection orders.The Administration urges the Congress to pass H.R. 2377 and send the measure to the President’s desk,” OMB said.
Rep. Carbajal urged the House to pass the legislation during his speech on the floor.
“Madame Speaker, I share the outrage and frustration of the majority of Americans and many of my colleagues here in Congress that there are some in Congress who have kept us from doing our job, from protecting children by blocking common-sense gun safety measures,” Rep. Carbajal said. “But I stand before you today as the author of a gun safety measure that has enjoyed bipartisan support, that has been implemented in Republican- and Democratic-led states alike and has been proven to reduce gun deaths and stop mass shootings before they happen.
“I’m speaking about Extreme Risk Protection Orders or as they are more commonly known ‘red flag’ laws … part of the reason these laws work is because warning signs of mass shootings are not as rare as you might think. In fact, a U.S. study of school violence found that the majority of incidents come with clear warning signs. Which we’ve seen before some of our most infamous school shootings: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland and even Uvalde.
“That’s why in the wake of these tragedies, Republican- and Democratic-led states have approved ‘red flag’ laws that have gone on to intervene in thousands of potentially violent attacks before they happened.”
During his speech, Rep. Carbajal referred to the May 23, 2014 mass shooting when Elliot Rodger shot and killed six people and injured 14 people in Isla Vista, then killed himself.
“California implemented the ‘red flag’ law after the UCSB/Isla Vista attack in my community, and the police officers have used it to prevent numerous workplace attacks and other violent incidents,” Rep. Carbajal said. “These ‘red flag’ laws are also critical to reducing the largest form of gun deaths in our country suicide by firearm … This measure is popular, bipartisan and common sense.”
Since Florida’s Republican legislature implemented its red flag law in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in 2018, law enforcement have used extreme risk laws more than 8,000 times to restrict and remove firearms from dangerous situations with known threats of violence and suicide, according to Rep. Carbajal’s office.
His office also noted that in states like Indiana and Connecticut, passage of a red flag law was followed by a notable decline in suicide by firearm.
In past years, Rep. Carbajal’s measure has enjoyed bipartisan support in the House and has received the endorsement of law enforcement agencies, teachers and doctors.