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

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: More urgent for kids in Kentucky to have secure border than new school 
 White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Limbaugh calls 25th Amendment discussions 'silent coup' 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 Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms MORE (D) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio in Colombia to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week 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 SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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.