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Rubio and Nelson want states to adopt court programs that could take guns from dangerous people

The Florida senators again partner on legislation stemming from the Parkland shooting.
Sen. Marco Rubio, left, speaks during a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on Feb. 21. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Sen. Marco Rubio, left, speaks during a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on Feb. 21. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Published Mar. 22, 2018
Updated Mar. 22, 2018

WASHINGTON – Teaming up again on post Parkland legislation, Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson this afternoon will call for the creation of a federal "Extreme Risk Protection Order Grant Program" in which court orders could be used to prevent dangerous people from buying or possessing firearms.

"Congress must pass legislation encouraging states to enact laws to provide law enforcement or family  members the option of obtaining a court order to prevent firearm purchases and possession by individuals who pose a significant threat to themselves or others while providing due process protections," reads an outline of the plan.

"Such laws have been enacted in several states, including most recently in Florida. Some states, including Rhode Island, are currently considering such proposals."

Said Rubio:

"In a significant majority of these cases involving mass shootings, the shooter has told people way ahead of time of what they intend to do. The signs are there months, and sometimes years, in advance. That includes the shooter in Parkland. This is someone that as early as 2016, authorities were concerned about. There had been a recommendation that he be Baker Act-ed. These tools now give authorities the ability to go in and take away their guns, with due process. But also to prevent them from buying others that could put people's lives in danger.

"So the goal of this legislation is to create an incentive for the rest of the states to do what Florida and five other states have already done, and that is put in place strong extreme protection risk orders so that law enforcement and family members have a tool that they can use to go to court, convince a judge that this person is dangerous, and take away their guns before they can take away anyone's lives."

Rubio and Nelson have already introduced the idea — under the name "gun-violence restraining orders" but Rubio's office said this is actual legislation.

Joining the Florida senators was Sen. Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island.