Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings

Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings
© Greg Nash

Two senators are asking Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump Nadler plays 1999 clip of Graham defining high crimes: 'It doesn't even have to be a crime' MORE (R-S.C.) to give their "red flag" bills a vote in the wake of last weekend's back-to-back mass shootings. 

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden wins endorsement of Sacramento mayor Roberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel, sent a letter to Graham on Monday asking for a vote on her extreme risk, or "red flag," bill. 

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"Given the President’s statement in support for these laws today, I again request that you put the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act on the agenda to be considered as soon as possible," Feinstein wrote in the letter. 

Feinstein's bill, which is backed by 25 Democratic senators and Independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingCollins walks impeachment tightrope The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran MORE (Maine), would allow states to use grants to develop red flag laws that allow family members to petition courts for an order preventing someone from purchasing a gun. The state laws could also let family members petition for an order for law enforcement to remove a firearm. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter Lawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones MORE (R-Fla.) also urged Graham to take up his separate "red flag" bill, noting he had asked the committee to bring it up months ago. 

"My bi-partisan 'Red Flag' law was filed 18 months ago & again earlier this year. We asked Senate Judiciary to take it up as few months ago. I hope they will now do so. Identifying & stopping a killer before they act is best way to prevent these tragedies," Rubio tweeted

Rubio's bill is backed by Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSix mayors making a difference Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall MORE (D-R.I.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation MORE (R-Maine) and King, which would also use grants to encourage states to pass "red flag" legislation. 

The push for Graham to give the two bills a vote comes as Graham announced on Monday that he would be introducing "red flag" legislation "in the very near future" with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). 

“I spoke with the President this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive," Graham said earlier Monday. 

Graham is one three GOP senators tapped by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' MORE (R-Ky.) to do bipartisan brainstorming about potential responses to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. 

"I asked them to reflect on the subjects the president raised within their jurisdictions and encouraged them to engage in bipartisan discussions of potential solutions to help protect our communities without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights," McConnell said in a statement.

In addition to Graham, McConnell said he spoke with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Administration to give Senate briefing on coronavirus Overnight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying MORE(R-Tenn.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — UN calls for probe into alleged Saudi hack of Bezos | Experts see effort to 'silence' Washington Post | Bezos tweets tribute to Khashoggi Senators fret over lack of manpower to build 5G Lawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing MORE (R-Miss.).