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Rep. Wilson Votes to Empower Communities to Prevent Gun Violence Through Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Miami, Fla.  Yesterday, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) voted to empower communities to prevent incidents of gun violence before they occur. The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act and Extreme Risk Protection Order Act empowers family members and law enforcement to seek court orders to temporarily remove access to guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or others, while incentivizing states to adopt their own so-called “red flag laws.” Florida already has a “red flag law” in effect, passed after the Parkland School Massacre of 2018. 

“On February 14, 2018, just 20 miles from my district, a young man walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semiautomatic rifle. He murdered 17 people and injured 17 others with a weapon of death and destruction that he had purchased legally, despite being known as a troubled person. In response, Florida Republicans and Democrats came together to pass protective laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Red flag laws were common sense legislation then, and they are common sense legislation, now. I am proud to support these measures to allow federal courts to issue extreme risk protection orders protecting family members and our community from potentially dangerous individuals with guns, and to encourage states to pass similar laws."

In recent weeks, Americans have witnessed horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York – and just this past weekend, at least thirteen mass shootings terrorized more communities across the country.  A study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that most mass shooters exhibit warning signs before carrying out an attack.  But without an extreme risk law, family and law enforcement lack the ability to temporarily disarm individuals considering acts of violence.

The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act will allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a federal court for an extreme risk protection order, empowering federal judges to prevent tragic shootings by temporarily removing firearms from potentially dangerous individuals.  Additionally, this legislation will establish a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice, incentivizing more states to allow their courts to take this same life-saving action.

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Wilson also voted for the Protecting Our Kids Act, a robust legislative package of common-sense gun safety measures that will crack down on illegal gun trafficking, keep weapons of war out of the hands of teenagers, ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks for civilian use, strengthen safe gun storage, impose background checks on untraceable “ghost guns” and more.  This legislation builds on the Democratic House’s twice-passed, widely-popular legislation to secure universal background checks for gun purchases and close the Charleston Loophole – action that is supported by nearly nine in ten Americans.