Brooks, others reintroduce gun violence reduction bill
Last week during National Police Week and Mental Health Awareness Month, U.S. Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.-05), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.-22), Fred Upton (R-Mich.-06) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.-12) reintroduced the Jake Laird Act, a bipartisan bill named after an Indianapolis police officer who was shot and killed in 2004 in the line of duty by a man who struggled with mental illness.
This bill provides grants to encourage states to adopt laws, similar to Indiana’s 2005 Jake Laird Law, that enable local law enforcement, with probable cause, to temporarily remove and retain firearms from individuals who are determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others.
“Red flag laws save lives and are already working in states across the country, including Indiana and Florida, to prevent devastating losses of life,” said Brooks. “As our country continues to grapple with how to keep our communities safe, the Jake Laird Act of 2019 will provide local law enforcement officers the tools and training necessary to help prevent senseless acts of violence from claiming more innocent lives. I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan gun violence reduction tool that will help us better avoid situations that could jeopardize the lives of our loved ones, friends, and neighbors while also protecting individual constitutional rights.”
The Jake Laird Act of 2019 is endorsed by the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police.
“The Jake Laird Act is a common sense approach to keeping firearms out of the hands of those who have no reason to have them and who could harm themselves or others,” said President of the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police Bill Owensby. “Anything that can be done to keep our first responders safer makes our citizens safer. The Indiana Fraternal Order of Police supports Congresswoman Brooks’ proposal.”
The Jake Laird Act of 2019 provides grants to states that enact laws substantially similar to Indiana’s Jake Laird Law. This grant funding will equip police officers with training and additional resources needed to deescalate life-threatening crisis situations and prevent future potentially deadly events from occurring in the first place. Since 2005, Indiana’s Jake Laird Law has been used over 700 times in Indianapolis alone.
The Jake Laird Act of 2019 respects constitutional Second Amendment protections for law-abiding gun owners and provides for due process by guaranteeing a day in court within 21 days. If the court rules that the individual is not a danger to self or others, his or her firearms will be swiftly returned.
Click here to read a one-page summary of the bill.