The bill, known as a “red flag” bill, would enable family members and law enforcement to ask a federal court to restrict a person’s access to guns if they deem them to pose an imminent “threat to themselves or others.” The restriction would last for 72 hours, according to the lawmakers.
“We tell our citizens,’If you see something, say something,'” Graham said during a press conference on Thursday. “Isn’t it incumbent on the government to do something? I think most Americans are telling us, ‘Why can’t you do something?'”
The bill introduced by Blumenthal and Graham is one of several measures that have been discussed in the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month where 17 people were killed. President Donald Trump has suggested that teachers be armed in schools to prevent similar shootings.
“There were plenty of warning signs that Nikolas Cruz was a danger,” Blumenthal said at the press conference, later adding: “They said something but nobody did anything. The reason is they were lacking effective tools to prevent that shooter from having or purchasing firearms that were then used for the mass slaughter that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School.”
Blumenthal said the bill has support in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) came out in favor of red flag legislation. Yesterday, he and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) introduced their own bill aimed at making it easier for states to implement red flag laws.
You can read more about the red flag bill here.