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

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Trump calls Saudi explanation for journalist's death credible, arrests 'good first step' 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 NelsonElection Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Election Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B Florida extending early voting in counties hit by hurricane MORE (D) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family The Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia 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 SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers 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.