U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas and other Senate Republicans are backing a bill to reduce mass shootings and improve public safety.
Cornyn introduced the Response Act following recent shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa.
The bill is endorsed by numerous mental health and police organizations. Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tim Scott (R-SC) are cosponsors.
It would provide new prosecutorial and punishment tools to law enforcement, expand resources for mental health treatment, and improve school safety for students and teachers.
“I spent time with families and victims in El Paso and Midland-Odessa following those tragedies and pledged to work with my Senate colleagues on real solutions,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Congress passed my Fix NICS Act after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, but more needs to be done. I urge my colleagues to come together once again to pass the RESPONSE Act to help prevent mass shootings and put a stop to this senseless loss of life.”
“The mass shootings that have taken place across our country are heartbreaking,” said Sen. McSally. “We can and should do more to prevent these awful tragedies. The RESPONSE Act would give law enforcement additional resources to identify potentially dangerous people, improve access to mental health treatment for those who need it, and make our schools safer.”
“We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of North Carolinians and help prevent mass violence,” said Sen. Tillis. “We cannot leave anything to chance. The RESPONSE Act provides proactive solutions to provide better access to mental health care treatment, provide more tools and resources for our schools, and improve the information law enforcement has to stop acts of imminent violence.”
“We need to find solutions to the violence we’ve seen across the county, and we can do that while protecting our constitutional rights. This bill takes a step in the right direction towards making sure our schools are safe and well-equipped; our law enforcement has the necessary tools and information to stop these actions; and, our families, friends, and neighbors have access to mental and behavioral health treatment,” said Sen. Ernst.
“The RESPONSE Act is full of proactive, commonsense measures that will empower law enforcement and schools to better prevent mass shootings,” Sen. Capito said. “At the same time, by expanding resources for mental health, we’re working to address the root of this problem and supporting at-risk individuals as they get the help they need.”
“South Carolina knows all too well the heartache and pain of mass shootings,” said Sen. Scott. “Passing the RESPONSE Act would be another responsible step towards preventing mass shootings, giving new tools to law enforcement officers, and expanding mental health treatment.”