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 GrahamGraham: Pelosi comment on Trump is 'most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus 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 FeinsteinDemocratic lawmakers demand government stop deporting unaccompanied children DOJ probing stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of coronavirus crisis: report Lobbying frenzy connected to stimulus sparks backlash 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 SandersTop Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points GE employees urge company to use laid-off workers to make ventilators MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingWe weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack Senators offer bill to extend tax filing deadline Russia using coronavirus fears to spread misinformation in Western countries 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 RubioTrump seeks to sell public on his coronavirus response Rubio knocks coverage of US coronavirus cases as 'grotesque' and 'bad journalism Lessons from the front line — Florida's fight with sea level rise 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 ReedOvernight Defense: Stimulus bill has .5B for Pentagon | Money would be blocked from border wall | Esper orders 60-day freeze for overseas troop movements Senate panel switches to 'paper hearings' amid coronavirus pandemic Rand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate MORE (D-R.I.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Senate eyes quick exit after vote on coronavirus stimulus package 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 McConnellThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund 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 AlexanderSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday GOP drafting stimulus package without deal with Democrats Senate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday MORE(R-Tenn.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerStimulus empowers Treasury to rescue airlines with billion in direct assistance White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus MORE (R-Miss.).