Thompson Votes to Pass Federal Red Flag Law, Additional Gun Violence Prevention Measure

Press Release


Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) voted to pass H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. This bill is a combination of the provisions of H.R. 2377 (Rep. McBath) and H.R. 3480 (Rep. Carbajal).

“Red flag laws are supported by a majority of Americans and nearly 70 percent of gun owners,” said Thompson. “In California, the red flag law has been used at least 21 times to prevent a mass shooting. We know red flag laws save lives and I was proud to vote for this bill to ensure that someone can intervene when a person shows signs that they are a threat to themselves or to others. The House is continuing to take action on gun violence prevention, and it now falls to Senate Republicans to do their job and vote for this life-saving legislation.”

Rep. Lucy McBath introduced this bill on April 8, 2021. The House Judiciary Committee then reported the bill on October 27, 2021, by a vote of 24 to 18.

This bill authorizes and establishes procedures for federal courts to issue extreme risk protection orders. This key bill would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a federal court for an extreme risk protection order to temporarily remove access to firearms for an individual who is deemed a danger to themselves or others by the court. There would be a due process hearing and the gun owner would have the opportunity to present their side of the case.

Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have extreme risk protection order laws – but there is no federal extreme risk protection law. We know that Extreme Risk laws save lives.  We have witnessed their effectiveness in state after state, beginning in 2016 when California passed the first such law. Since then, 18 other states and the District of Columbia have enacted such laws. In sum, extreme risk protection orders can prevent a tragic shooting before it occurs.

The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), is designed to create incentives for more states to adopt extreme risk protection order laws. Specifically, the bill creates a new grant program at the U.S. Department of Justice, with the grants to be used to implement these protection order laws and to support the 19 states that have already implemented them.

According to a study done by the gun safety organization Everytown for Gun Safety, in 51 percent of mass shootings from 2005 to 2017, the attacker exhibited warning signs. For example, before killing six people in Isla Vista, California in May 2014, the shooter made homicidal and suicidal threats and his parents alerted law enforcement. However, back in 2014, there was nothing the parents could legally do to remove firearms because California did not yet have an extreme risk protection order law.