Parkland survivors won a major victory today in Congress. Their activism since the February 14 high school gun massacre that killed 14 children and three adults has pushed national lawmakers to defy their NRA overlords, finally introducing two bills that would limit who can access a gun.
Today, Florida Senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, and their Democratic Rhode Island colleague, Jack Reed introduced what is known as a “red flag” bill, based on recent Florida state legislation, encouraging, “states to allow law enforcement to remove weapons from anyone who poses a threat but before court proceedings.”
Senator Rubio said today:
I think, among the things that we could do after Parkland, one of the most effective is a gun violence restraining order. Basically the police or a family member who thinks someone is dangerous can go to court. They can get a court order, and they can take that person’s guns away and keep them from buying new ones.
Senator Nelson highlighted the importance of sensible bipartisan solutions to this life-or-death issue plaguing America:
I hope we can continue to work together on commonsense solutions, such as requiring universal background checks and getting assault rifles off our streets.
Meanwhile, a new bill in the House of Representatives proposes raising the minimum age to buy shotguns or rifles from 18 to 21 for everyone except law enforcement officers and members of the military.
Co-sponsor, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, who represents Parkland, said:
Most Americans want to raise the minimum age to buy a firearm. … This legislation isn’t perfect and is only one piece of what Congress must consider. But it represents one more important bipartisan step toward our ultimate goal of comprehensive gun safety laws.
Thanks to the student activists, today marks a historic shift in Congress’ willingness to take legislative action.
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