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Demings votes for Red Flag Gun Safety Bill

The legislation empowers courts to issue federal extreme risk protection orders that allows law enforcement officers to protect families and the community from individuals likely to cause harm to themselves or others

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Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) voted for, and the House of Representatives passed, H.R.2377 – the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. The legislation will empower federal courts to issue federal extreme risk protection orders, also known as “Red Flags” that allows law enforcement officers to protect families and the community from individuals likely to cause harm to themselves or others.

Rep. Demings spoke on the House Floor in support of action on gun violence. Yesterday she voted for, and the House passed, the Protecting Our Kids Act.

“I carried a gun for 27 years as a law enforcement officer," said Demings. "I’m a gun owner today. Getting guns out of the hands of dangerous people will protect our children. This legislation will empower judges and law enforcement officers to prevent gun violence before it happens. Florida’s Red Flag law, passed with bipartisan support, has been a success that has saved lives in our communities. Congress should follow this model."

Rep. Val Demings
Rep. Val Demings

Demings also pushed back on the notion that gun violence could not be stopped.

“Gun violence is not inevitable. The shootings that take the lives of our children every day are a policy choice, one that we can change. America is the greatest country in the world and I know we have the power to fix the problem of gun violence if we have the political will. Thoughts and prayers are fine, but faith without works is dead. Our children need us to protect them.”

A federal extreme risk protection order is a federal court order that prohibits a person from purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition. Florida passed a Red Flag law following the Parkland shooting. “Florida judges have acted more than 8,000 times to keep guns out of the hands of people authorities deemed a risk to themselves or others.”

Rep. Demings is a Vice-Chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Gun violence is the #1 cause of death for children in the United States. A study reviewing gun deaths in 29 high-income countries found that 97% of all gun deaths among children 4 years old or younger happened in the United States, with the other 28 countries combined making up the remaining 3%.

Rep. Demings previously voted to pass the Protecting Our Kids Act [Video Link].

The Protecting Our Kids Act is a legislative package that closes loopholes in America’s gun laws. It would:

  • Raise the age for purchasing a semiautomatic centerfire rifle from 18 to 21
  • Restrict large-capacity magazines (Rep. Demings previously cosponsored this legislation)
  • Establish requirements regulating the safe storage of firearms (Rep. Demings previously co-sponsored a portion of this legislation)
  • Expand the ban on bump stocks, and gun modifications that help enable mass shootings. (Rep. Demings previously led legislation including this provision)
  • Restrict access to ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms favored by criminals (Rep. Demings previously cosponsored this legislation)

Rep. Demings led the Protecting Our Communities Act, legislation grouping several high-profile gun safety bills to:

  • Regulate “ghost guns” by requiring gun kits to include a serial number and a background check to complete a sale;
  • Regulate concealable assault rifles which fire armor-piercing ammunition and were specifically designed by gun manufacturers to circumvent the National Firearms Act;
  • Help states enforce existing laws by requiring federal authorities to alert state and local law enforcement within 24 hours when an ineligible individual lies on a background check and tries to purchase a firearm; and
  • Codify the last Administration’s ‘bump stock’ final rule to regulate bump stocks, which allow modification of a weapon to enable rapid firing.

Rep. Demings led the Law Enforcement Protection Act, legislation to regulate concealable armor-piercing assault rifles.

  • These types of weapons are concealable and fire armor-piercing ammunition—making them as lethal as an assault rifle. Gun manufacturers have used technical loopholes to design unregulated concealable assault weapons that can penetrate body armor worn by police officers and kill dozens of people in minutes. This legislation will regulate these weapons as we already do other similar firearms.
  • They are specifically designed by gun manufacturers to circumvent the National Firearms Act (NFA)—a federal law regulating the manufacture, transfer, and possession of firearms. Their concealability and lethality make them especially dangerous for law enforcement personnel.
  • The Law Enforcement Protection Act would add armor-piercing, concealable weapons as a category under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Rep. Demings strongly supported legislation to close the loopholes in our background check system:

  • The Bipartisan Background Checks Act will extend the existing background check requirement for gun purchases conducted by licensed dealers to all purchases, including private sales, unlicensed dealer sales, online sales, and gun show sales. There are a number of exceptions in the bill to cover certain private, temporary transfers, such as for hunting purposes.
  • The Enhanced Background Checks Act would close the Charleston Loophole. Current law allows a dealer to transfer a firearm to a purchaser after 3 business days if the background check has not been completed. In 2016 this loophole allowed 4,170 guns to be sold to people who should not have been able to buy a gun. In 2015, this included the shooter in the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Background checks are supported by well over 90 percent of the American people – including 90 percent of gun-owning households, as well as dozens of leading law enforcement, veterans, local government, public health, and other groups.

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