July 14, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes for Active Shooter Alert Act

Yesterday, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted for legislation to establish a rapid warning system to alert communities of nearby active shooters. The Active Shooter Alert Act will establish a program similar to the AMBER Alert system, allowing law enforcement to efficiently and effectively alert the public during a shooting. The bill’s passage follows House Republicans’ inexplicable attempt to obstruct this life-saving legislation last month.


“In the wake of the tragedies in Highland Park, Uvalde, and Buffalo, mass shootings continue to devastate communities across the country. While last month’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was a historic step in the right direction, much more work is needed to put an end to the American gun violence epidemic,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “I was proud to vote for a commonsense, straightforward bill that would keep Americans safe and informed during active shooter incidents. This legislation will equip communities in New Jersey and across the country with the resources, training, and strategies they need to save lives.”


This year alone, the United States has seen more than 300 mass shootings. Among the most urgent challenges during an active shooter incident is preventing additional victims from unknowingly walking into the line of fire.


The Active Shooter Alert Act will support these life-saving efforts by establishing an Active Shooter Alert Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Coordinator will offer state and local law enforcement officials voluntary access to training, technical support, and advice for improving or implementing active shooter alert systems. These resources include guidance on the most effective alert content, delivery strategies, and recommendations, such as silencing alerts in the immediate vicinity of a shooter.


This legislation is strongly supported by major law enforcement organizations, including the National Sheriffs' Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Fraternal Order of Police, National Police Foundation, and National District Attorneys Association. 

Last month, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the country’s first major gun violence prevention legislation in nearly three decades. This landmark legislation secured life-saving measures to keep weapons out of dangerous hands, strengthen mental health services, and bolster school safety.