Franken looks to boost courthouse safety

Franken cited shootings last fall in courthouses in Arkansas and Indiana, and a December shooting in a courthouse in Franken's home state.

"After the shooting, a Minnesota judge wrote to his colleagues expressing concerns about courthouse security," Franken said. "He put the issue very well. He said: 'I'm no longer willing to risk my life, the life of court staff, the life of the public who have no choice about going to court.' He said he was worried about being 'carried out in a body bag.' "

Under his bill, S. 2076, local courts would have access to security equipment that federal agencies are no longer using. Franken said the bill is modeled after a current program that gives local police access to excess Defense Department equipment.

"The Local Courthouse Safety Act would do the same thing for local courts," he said. "It would give them direct access to the federal government's excess metal detectors, wands and baggage screening machines."

The bill also makes it easier for states to use federal grants to install screeners and other safety equipment at courthouses.

Sens. John BoozmanJohn BoozmanTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Senators launch broadband caucus A GMO labeling law that doesn’t require English? No thanks! MORE (R-Ark.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Senators launch broadband caucus MORE (D-Minn.) are co-sponsors of Franken's bill.

More in Legislation

GMO labeling bill advances in the Senate over Dem objections

Read more »