Schumer Statement On Republican Efforts To Pursue Only So-Called “Red Flag” Laws Without Passing Universal Background Checks Legislation

August 7, 2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today released the following statement on Republican efforts to pursue only so-called “red-flag” laws without passing universal background checks legislation:

“The notion that passing a tepid version of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill—alone—is even close to getting the job done in addressing rampant gun violence in the U.S. is wrong and would be an ineffective cop out.

“First, even the strongest ERPO legislation won’t be fully effective without strong universal background checks. As long as the gun show and online sales loopholes exist, someone prohibited from possessing a gun under an ERPO law could still purchase a firearm far too easily.

“Second, the NRA has already claimed it will water down any red flag legislation to insignificance, and if past is prologue, we know Republicans would just go along with it.

“Third, the proposal Republicans are pursuing would not mandate states to institute ERPO laws. Instead, it would just provide grant incentives for states to implement laws of their own, which runs the risk of doing more harm than good in the long run if states decide to take up weaker laws.

“We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side. Democrats in the Senate will seek to require that any ERPO bill that comes to the floor is accompanied by a vote on the House-passed universal background checks legislation.”

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