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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations
    IntroducedMay 9th, 2018

What is it?

This bill — known as the Jake Laird Act of 2018 — would authorize the U.S. Attorney General to make grants to states for the seizure of firearms from individuals who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others (a type of law known as a “red flag law”). Only states with laws in place for firearms seizure would be eligible for these funds.

Individuals would considered “dangerous” if they meet one or more of the following conditions: 1) presents an imminent risk of injuring themselves or another individual; 2) have a mental illness that is controlled by medication, but have demonstrated a pattern of not voluntarily taking the medication; 3) are documented as having a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct; and/or 4) pose a significant danger of harming themselves or others by possessing a firearm.

Law enforcement could seize a firearm without a warrant if they determine that an individual is dangerous under the above criteria under this bill. Within 48 hours of the seizure, law enforcement must file a return with the proper court that provides information about the timing and quantity of firearms taken in the seizure.

Within 21 days of a firearm seizure, the court would hold a hearing to determine whether the individual is dangerous. If the individual isn’t determined to be dangerous, their firearm(s) would be returned to them. If the individual is found to be dangerous by clear and convincing evidence, the law enforcement agency would be ordered to retain the firearm(s) seized, revoke the individual’s license(s) to carry a firearm, and enter an order restraining the individual from acquiring a firearm. Firearms that do not belong to the individual would be returned to their proper owner. Individuals could request that their firearm(s) be sold, and the proceeds given to them in accordance with local law.

An individual found to be dangerous by the court could petition the court to return the seized firearm(s) after 180 days. The court would return the firearm(s) if the individual proves they are not dangerous by preponderance of the evidence. If the petition is denied, the individual could file another petition for the return of the firearm(s) 180 days after the previous denial. Nothing would prevent a court from setting its own hearing to determine the danger level sooner than the 180-day limit placed on the individual.

Finally, if an order preventing an individual from possessing firearms is still in effect five years after it was ordered, local law enforcement may be ordered to destroy the seized firearms.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced this bill to encourage states to adopt laws like Indiana’s 2005 Jake Laird Law, which enables local law enforcement, with probably cause, to seize and retain firearms from individuals who are determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others:

“The Jake Laird Law has been used successfully more than 600 times in Indianapolis since 2005 and should be used as a model for states nationwide. As our country continues to grapple with how to keep our communities safe, the Jake Laird Act will provide our local law enforcement officers the tools and training necessary to prevent senseless acts of violence from claiming more innocent lives. After many meetings with students, teachers, school administrators, law enforcement departments and fellow members of Congress, I am proud to introduce this bipartisan gun violence reduction tool that will help us better avoid situations that could jeopardize countless lives while also protecting individual constitutional rights.”

The National Rifle Association, which was originally neutral on this bill, is now opposed to it, arguing that there are insufficient protections for due process and requirements for mental health treatment:

“We support risk protection orders that have adequate due process provisions and require those who are found dangerous to receive the mental health treatment they so urgently need. Unfortunately, HR 5717, among many flaws, lacks both mental health care requirements and due process protections, and we oppose it on those grounds.”

Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, along with the families of the victims killed in Parkland, Florida support this legislation. The families of the Parkland victims wrote in a May 9, 2018 letter:

“We are the families of the victims killed in the tragedy in Parkland on February 14, 2018. We write to show our support for the Jake Laird Act of 2018, and we strongly urge your colleagues in the United States of America House of Representatives to join with you to quickly pass this legislation… Frankly, we know much more needs to be done to prevent mass murder from ever again occurring in our schools. The safety of students, teachers and staff in our schools cannot wait. The moment to consider legislation like the Jake Laird Act is right now. We must continue to work together to keep firearms away from those that are an immediate risk to themselves or to others. These laws are working in Florida and in many other states, therefore, we support the objective of this act, which is to encourage all states to adopt “red flag” legislation.”

There are 15 cosponsors of this bill,  (including nine Republicans and six Democrats).


Of Note: This bill seeks to encourage states to pass Red Flag Laws, which empower family members or law enforcement to seek a court order, known as an Extreme Risk Protection Order, that temporarily blocks a person from having guns when they pose a serious danger to themself or others.

Red Flag Laws are meant to prevent both mass shootings and suicides. In both cases, individuals planning violence against themselves and others often display warning signs prior to the shootings. For example, the shooter who killed six people in Isla Vista, California in May 2014 displayed numerous warning signs, including making homicidal and suicidal threats. His parents alerted law enforcement, but he did not meet the criteria for emergency mental health commitment, so was able to keep his guns and use them in his killing spree three weeks later.

Today, 13 states have enacted Red Flag Laws — and at least 29 states and Washington, D.C. have considered Red Flag legislation in 2018.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock / kyoshino)

AKA

Jake Laird Act of 2018

Official Title

To authorize the Attorney General to make grants to States that have in place laws that authorize the seizure of firearms from dangerous individuals, and for other purposes.

    I strongly believe that they best way to stop gun violence is to take guns out of the hands of violent people. I have heard that the practice of taking guns out of homes of persons who have just been called for domestic abuse for example is already in effect in some states with positive results. Lets put this in the states and local police officers hands who are close enough to access each situation and make the right call to save lives.
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    No. I don't want the police to be able to do this kind of thing without due process. Bad precedent, slippery slope.
    Like (122)
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    This is a dangerous bill, don’t pass it! Due process is required, passing this helps to further erode our rights.
    Like (56)
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    Law enforcement need not be helpless in the face of the repeated warning signs that people are preparing for violence or are unstable and a danger to themselves and others. I support the states that have reasonable red line laws and the implementation of federal support and funding.
    Like (52)
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    This should be a no brainer, unfortunately the NRA money is too big of a temptation for our representatives.
    Like (34)
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    More police and funds to prevent shootings will be what stop gun related tragedies, NOT gun seizures!
    Like (28)
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    It’s about time the Federal Government shows some interest in stopping dangerous people from killing innocent folks. This is a step in the right direction to tell Constituents that lawmakers have finally found the guts to stand up to the NRA.
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    Hell no! That couldn't be tailored MORE to encourage abuse. ANYBODY with a grudge could trigger a massive and traumatic invasion of some innocent person's life, with NO recouse, no means for due process and all of the burdens of proof of innocence AND the expenses placed squarely on the VICTIM...
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    Due process please. This is a country ruled by laws,
    Like (18)
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    How is this bill from a Republican a slippery slope when it outlines it really only is taking guns from the mentally ill who don’t take their medicine or have a history of self harm or violence. Jesus sometimes I feel the right doesn’t know how to read a bill. It’s not a repeal of the second amendment you idiots!!! It’s just protecting citizens!!!
    Like (14)
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    This would set a bad precedent. No seizure of personal property unless a crime has been committed or a premeditated crime can be proven.
    Like (13)
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    Sounds like it's rife with opportunities for abuses. Who defines "dangerous"? How does someone appeal being put on the "dangerous" list? This has all the same Due Process violations as the No Fly List. Blatantly unconstitutional.
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    If there is probable cause to suggest that an individual is a danger to either themselves or others then they should not have access to guns! The safety of the public should always be a priority.
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    That can’t be a serious question. Yes. Get any type of weapon away from dangerous individuals.
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    Yes
    Like (10)
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    What is the definition of a Dangerous Individual! A lot of you weird Leftie creeps want to ban all veterans from gun ownership! I would prefer that we ban ANTIFA and mist Dems from Gun Ownership! And since the left now is Anti Police are demanding that they give up Gun ownership as well? What is your definition of a dangerous individual as posed to a responsible individual! The Dumb Bell at Countable that came up with question has no idea about freedom and liberty and I recommend that they be terminated from their employment by you!
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    Who deems a person dangerous? This is a slippery slope to remove all guns from law abiding citizens. Drunk drivers kill people everyday but we don’t want to ban vehicles or alcohol. They are not allowed to drive anymore. Why don’t most of you worry about banning straws or whatever your offended by this week. Instead of being a keyboard warrior go enlist in the military or do something productive for society and your country.
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    it's plain common sense
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    This sounds logical but can be used as a weapon by the Federal government against an opponent whether political, religious, ethnic etc. It’s a slippery slope that should never be allowed. It could make the Federal government far more powerful than already; ie: DOJ, ATF, FBI , Federal Court system just to name a few. #MAGA
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    Please review the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, paying close attention to the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th amendments.
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