Senators offer bill that could block gun sales to people seen as risks
© Greg Nash

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation on Thursday to let a court temporarily block an individual seen as posing a risk to themselves or others from buying or owning a gun.

The legislation, known as the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act, comes in wake of the deadly shooting of a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead and re-energized a debate over gun control.

It would let law enforcement or family members get a court order to block the sale or ownership of a gun to an individual determined to be a risk to themselves or others. 


Graham said they are hoping to start a “national conversation” with the bill’s introduction. 

“Senator Blumenthal and I disagree on many issues regarding the Second Amendment, but we strongly agree restricting access to firearms by those who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others is a strong step forward,” Graham said in a statement. 

The court order could last for up two weeks. And under the legislation, the individual temporarily blocked from owning or buying a gun must get a court hearing within 72 hours of the protection order being issued to present their case. 

Blumenthal added that the bill would help create a “red flag.”

"We know these laws work," he added during a press conference with Graham. 

Florida Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Scott ramps up spending to million in Florida Senate race Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (D) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioStudents gather outside White House after walkout to protest gun violence Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Senate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA MORE (R) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would incentivize states to pass the so-called “red flag” laws. 

But Rubio appeared skeptical a bill could get the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.

Five states already have so-called “red flag” legislation while more than a dozen other states are considering it.

The gun debate has largely stalled in Congress despite the outcry over the Floriday shooting.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThrowing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Congress should build on the momentum from spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said this week that Democrats would try to force floor action after a March 24 gun control rally organized by students from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.