Thompson Calls for Senate Action on Background Checks and Federal Red Flag Law After St. Louis School Shooting

Press Release

Posted: November 2, 2022

St. Helena – Following the tragic and preventable deadly school shooting at the Central Visual and Performing Arts in St. Louis, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson called for swift Senate action on legislation that would have prevented that shooting and many others.

According to the FBI, the school shooter was initially stopped from purchasing a firearm from a federal firearm licensed dealer because the background check system worked. The student and teacher killed, the seven injured, and the entire community were failed by a loophole which allowed the shooter to acquire a firearm by purchasing the same gun from an unlicensed dealer.

Also according to news reports, the family of the shooter called the police to have the shooter’s gun removed from their household. Instead of taking the firearm away, it was given to a third party and the shooter was able to get the gun back within days. In states with Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, law enforcement and the courts could have taken the gun away, missing another chance to stop the shooting. 

“It is outrageous that 90 percent of Americans support the universal background checks that would have prevented the tragic St. Louis school shooting, yet Senate Republicans continue to block this bill from being signed into law.” said Thompson. “The Senate needs to swiftly pass universal background checks and a federal red flag law. Enough is enough.”

The House of Representatives passed Rep. Thompson’s H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act in March of 2021. The House also passed H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act in June of 2022.

According to Giffords, California has 8.5 gun deaths per 100k people, while Missouri has 23.9 gun deaths. States like Missouri with weak gun laws contribute to higher levels of gun violence in other states with stronger protections as they facilitate the transfer of firearms amongst people who are dangerous and prohibited from having them. Gun violence is a national problem and requires strong federal action.