Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has co-sponsored a pair of bills aimed at curbing mass shootings in the wake of the school rampage in his home state in mid-February.
“There is widespread support and agreement that we must act now, as soon as possible, to do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like Parkland from happening anywhere else ever again,” Rubio said March 1 on the Senate floor, referring to the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
The Florida Republican and other senators have introduced the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Denial Notification Act and the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018. They also voiced support for gun violence restraining orders.
A gun violence restraining order would give law enforcement and close family members the ability to prevent someone who poses a threat from purchasing a firearm, as long as law enforcement or the family members obtain a court order.
“And to be clear, the due process in such a situation would be on the front end, not on the back end,” Rubio said, contrary to President Donald Trump’s Feb. 28 suggestion that law enforcement should “take the guns first, [then] go through due process second.”
The NICS Denial Notification Act would require federal authorities to alert state law enforcement within 24 hours “when individuals ‘lie and try’ to purchase firearms, which can be a warning sign of criminal behavior,” according to a statement from Rubio’s office.
The legislation is sponsored by Rubio, along with Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; and Bill Nelson, D-Fla. It’s co-sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 would reauthorize and amend the Secure Our Schools Act by allocating to the Department of Justice $75 million for fiscal year 2018 and $100 million annually for the following 10 years in grants to states to help schools implement “proven, evidence-based programs and technologies that stop school violence before it happens,” Rubio’s office said.
The STOP School Violence Act is sponsored by Rubio, as well as Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; and 17 others from both parties.