U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) recently announced their support for the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act.
The legislation is designed to encourage states to give law enforcement the authority to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms, while still providing due process protections.
“As a nation, we must examine the common thread that connects many acts of gun violence: untreated or undertreated serious mental illness,” Collins said. “Our legislation would help to provide a way for family members and law enforcement officers to temporarily prevent people who pose a danger to themselves and others from purchasing or possessing firearms. Several states already have ‘red flag’ laws, which enhance gun safety while retaining important due process protections and preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
The bill would create an Extreme Risk Protection Order Grant Program at the Department of Justice to help states fund the implementation of qualifying “red flag” laws.
“Too many communities across our nation have been gripped by the pain and trauma of mass shootings,” King said. “Many of these mass shootings were perpetrated by killers who displayed warning signs of emotional or mental distress and were still able to purchase a gun. That is simply unacceptable. We need to pursue proactive approaches to save lives, while still protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun-owners – and that starts with trying to intervene early with those who have shown the potential to harm themselves or others.”