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Harris Set to Unveil Gun Control Initiatives During Parkland, Florida Visit

On Saturday in Parkland, Florida, a place shadowed by the tragic loss of 14 students and three staff members in a 2018 school shooting, Vice President Harris is set to unveil two significant initiatives aimed at curbing gun violence. The Vice President plans to engage with the bereaved families of the massacre, visiting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alongside them, Congressman Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), and local officials. Following these heartfelt interactions, she is scheduled to address the public at 2:45 p.m., sharing her insights on gun safety initiatives.

A pivotal announcement made by Harris is the establishment of the inaugural National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center. This center is designed to bolster the enactment of red-flag laws across states, providing essential training and technical support. This initiative is backed financially by the Department of Justice, through a grant facilitated by a bipartisan gun control legislation President Biden ratified in 2022.

Additionally, the Vice President will urge states to adopt red-flag laws and leverage the bipartisan gun control bill’s resources for their implementation. Red-flag laws empower judges to confiscate firearms from individuals deemed a potential threat to themselves or others.

Despite the legislation signed by President Biden in 2022, which availed funding for states with red-flag laws, only six out of 21 eligible states have tapped into these funds. Fifteen other states with red-flag laws have yet to utilize the available financial support. Meanwhile, 29 states without such laws remain ineligible for the funding.

In a related development earlier in February, marking the fifth anniversary of the Parkland shooting, President Biden announced that the Department of Justice would allocate over $231 million to assist states in crisis intervention efforts, including red-flag programs. This financial support signifies a concerted effort to enhance public safety and prevent gun violence across the nation.