Press Releases

White House Support Caps Big Week For Gun Violence Restraining Order Laws

Gun Violence Restraining Order Act Gains Traction With Congressional Republicans, Advocacy Groups, As GVRO Laws Draw Support Of White House, See Action in States

f t # e
Washington, March 2, 2018 | comments

As students returned to classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following the tragic Parkland shooting, they continued their calls for gun reform. Their advocacy helped drive growing momentum in Washington and in state capitals across the country for gun violence restraining order (GVRO) laws, which saw legislative actions on state measures and endorsements of such measures by key political leaders from both parties.

The only bill in Congress to help states adopt GVRO laws, the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act, has nearly doubled its number of cosponsors in the past two weeks. The new cospsonsors include Parkland Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), as well as Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The bill’s leaders, Reps. Salud Carbajal, Elizabeth Esty, and Don Beyer, are actively recruiting additional Republican cosponsors.

Rep. Esty also brought the proposal to the White House for President Trump’s meeting on gun violence this week, where Vice President Pence spoke favorably about Indiana’s gun violence restraining order law, and was met with approval from President Trump.

Indiana is one of only five states with a gun violence restraining order law (also known as “Extreme Risk Protective Orders” (ERPO’s), or “red flag” laws) on the books, but that number may grow soon. State capitals are seeing new action on GVRO proposals in AlabamaAlaska, Arizona, Arkansas, ColoradoDelaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, IowaKansas, KentuckyMaine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, MinnesotaMissouri, Montana, NevadaNew Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, TennesseeTexas, UtahVermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act was also endorsed this week by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a professional association for law enforcement with over 30,000 members. GVRO’s drew additional support from the Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence, a group composed of educators, educational institutions, schools, and school psychological associations, which included a call for GVRO’s in its Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States. GVRO’s and the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act have previously been endorsed by gun violence prevention groups including Everytown, Giffords, the Brady Campaign, CSGV, Sandy Hook Promise, the Newtown Action Alliance, and more.

GVRO laws represent a unique point of bipartisan consensus. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi voiced new support for them week, shortly after they were written about favorably in the National Review and Reason. Gun violence restraining orders are supported by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, former Governor Jeb Bush, and other prominent conservatives. More on GVRO’s:

Wall Street Journal: States Consider Laws Allowing Courts to Take Guns From Dangerous People
Washington Post Editorial: There’s something states can do about gun violence: ‘Red-flag’ laws
ABC News: “How a temporary restraining order for guns could help stop mass shootings”
Bloomberg Editorial: Raising the Red Flag on Guns
Sacramento Bee Editorial: “Here’s a California gun law that saves lives. If only Florida had such a law”
Reuters: “Gun restraining order might have thwarted Florida shooting: experts”
Roll Call: “Democrats Push Bill They Say Could Have Prevented Parkland Shooting”
Huff Post: “Here’s How To Stop The Next Nikolas Cruz”

More background on GVRO laws is available from Giffords.

f t # e