CBS19: House passes federal version of ‘red flag’ law


The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to create a federal version of a “Red flag” law.

The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act would create procedures by which federal courts could issue extreme risk protection orders.

According to a release, these kinds of orders allow for the temporary removal of firearms from the possession of a person who has been deemed by a judge, through due process, to be a danger to themselves or to others.

Several states, including Virginia and Washington, D.C., have these kinds of laws on the books, but there is no federal version at this time.

“Access to a firearm creates potentially dangerous situations for those in a point of crisis, their loved ones, and the law enforcement who respond to a situation,” said Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th). “Across the country, we have seen far too many instances of family and friends raising concerns about a future murderer, law enforcement responding to the situation, and then ultimately no action being taken because of a lack of ERPO laws. As a former federal law enforcement officer, I recognize how these laws can keep our communities safe, and I know how deeply our first responders want to prevent a deadly incident. I have repeatedly voiced my support for and cosponsored legislation related to ERPOs, and I take this vote in hopes of preventing future tragedies, suicides, domestic assaults, and mass shootings across our country. ERPOs can save lives, and we have seen that demonstrated in states like Virginia where they are in place.”

This legislation is another piece that has been taken up in the wake of recent mass shootings, including the ones in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.

The release says this bill would create incentives for more states to adopt some kind of extreme risk protection order program.

Under this legislation, a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice would be focused on encouraging more states to adopt such laws and support the 19 states that already have them.

Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-5th) has not released any statements regarding this vote.

Though this bill passed the House with bipartisan support, it is unlikely to pass the U.S. Senate.

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