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Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) speaking at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.

Together with a bipartisan group of colleagues, Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) on Tuesday introduced the Protecting our Communities and Rights Act of 2018, legislation aimed at curbing gun violence. Congressman Young joined Reps. John Katko (R-NY), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), John Curtis (R-UT) Barbara Comstock (R-VA) in introducing this bipartisan measure.

“Recent acts of violence have proven we all need to work together to make our communities safer and ensure those who show they are a danger to themselves or others get the help they need but also can’t commit acts of violence. This legislation will help family members and law enforcement prevent those who are a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms while also ensuring due process. This is just one of many steps I’m taking to make Iowans safer and ensure the rights of law-abiding citizens are respected,” Young said. 

Nationwide, some states have taken action to introduce “red flag laws,” which allow law enforcement to temporarily restrict access to firearms if individuals demonstrate “red flags” indicating they may be a danger to themselves or others. This bill will allow states to intervene and provide real support to keep communities safe while upholding constitutional rights.

The Protecting our Communities and Rights Act gives priority for existing Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants if they enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) legislation including the following provisions:

  • Due Process: A State may only temporarily prohibit access to firearms after a hearing where the person has notice and is given an opportunity to participate.
  • Clear and Convincing Evidence: Hearing must include a finding of dangerousness by a neutral decision-maker with an evidentiary standard consistent with clear and convincing evidence. 
  • ERPO Expiration: A clear timeline for Extreme Risk Prevention Orders to expire which will expeditiously return firearms unless the order is renewed. 

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