June 09, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Votes to Prevent Future Gun Violence Through Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted to empower communities to prevent incidents of gun violence before they occur. The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act empowers family members and law enforcement to seek a federal court order to temporarily remove access to guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or others. The legislation also incentivizes states to adopt their own so-called “red flag laws.”   

“There have been more mass shootings in America this year than there have been days. Unthinkable acts of murder have become so normalized in our society that most of them never even make headlines. The fact is that in our country, grocery stores, schools, and houses of worship are no longer guaranteed to be safe spaces. No other country in the world has this problem, and I refuse to accept it,” said Rep. Watson Coleman.   

“While my colleagues across the aisle blame everything from abortion to so-called ‘woke-ism’ for America’s gun violence epidemic, House Democrats are taking real action to address it. Yesterday, I joined my Democratic colleagues in passing a landmark gun violence protection package. Today, we passed another popular common-sense gun violence prevention measure. By allowing federal courts to issue extreme risk protection orders, this new legislation will keep weapons of war out of dangerous hands,” Rep. Watson Coleman continued. 

In recent weeks, Americans have witnessed horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. This past weekend, at least thirteen mass shootings terrorized more communities across the country. A study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that most mass shooters exhibit warning signs before carrying out an attack, but without an extreme risk law, family and law enforcement lack the ability to temporarily disarm individuals considering acts of violence. 

The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act will allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a federal court for an extreme risk protection order, giving federal judges the authority to prevent tragic shootings by temporarily removing firearms from potentially dangerous individuals. Additionally, this legislation will establish a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice that will incentivize more state governments to take this same life-saving action. 

Yesterday, Rep. Watson Coleman voted for the Protecting Our Kids Act, a robust legislative package of common-sense gun safety measures that will crack down on illegal gun trafficking, keep assault weapons out of the hands of teenagers, ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks for civilian use, strengthen safe gun storage, impose background checks on untraceable “ghost guns,” and more. This legislation builds on the Democratic House’s twice-passed, widely popular legislation to implement universal background checks for gun purchases and close the Charleston Loophole.