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Rubio, Nelson pitch idea to encourage states to adopt ‘gun violence restraining orders’

Plan would provide grants to states.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined at right by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., holds a news conference to unveil his plan to address gun violence with legislation on restraining orders, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA123
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined at right by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., holds a news conference to unveil his plan to address gun violence with legislation on restraining orders, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA123
Published Mar. 7, 2018|Updated Mar. 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson on Wednesday outlined a plan to provide federal grants to states for establishing gun violence restraining orders.

"It would be a tool," Rubio said, stressing due process provisions, to prevent "dangerous individuals from being able to take the next step and actually take the lives of innocent people."

The restraining orders would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court and bar a dangerous person from having guns. The burden would be on the petitioners, who could seek an emergency order and then a permanent one.

Five states already have GVROs, and the Florida Legislature is on the verge of creating its own program. (Gov. Rick Scott included it in his plan to address Parkland.)

The plan would use Justice Department grants over five years, Rubio said.

Democrat Nelson said he prefers universal background checks but conceded that idea isn't going to fly in the GOP-controlled Congress.

"Let's get what we can and this is certainly a very, very important step," said Nelson, who again credited Rubio for participating in the CNN town hall about the Parkland massacre and took a shot at Gov. Rick Scott for skipping the forum.

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