This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. , to create a task force to offer a national strategy “to keep communities safe from targeted violence through threat assessment and management.”
Rubio paired up with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, to introduce the “Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act" which, they insist, “would help provide resources, training, and assistance in establishing and operating locally driven threat assessment and management units."
On Thursday, Rubio weighed in on the legislation and why he was backing it.
“We must proactively engage with experts in the field of threat assessments in order to help prevent future tragedies,” Rubio said. “We have the expertise to implement systems to identify and stop dangerous individuals before they commit an act of violence, but we have yet to fully and effectively develop and utilize it to prevent future attacks. By bringing threat assessment experts together and utilizing evidence-based behavioral threat assessment and management processes, this bill will help equip our communities with the tools they need to prevent future tragedies. I want to thank Senators Sinema and Tillis for leading this effort with me in the Senate and Congressman Babin for his continued leadership in the House.”
“We must provide law enforcement with the tools they need to keep Arizona families safe and secure,” said Sinema. “I will work every day to protect Arizonans from senseless, tragic acts of violence.”
“We cannot allow mass casualty events to become the new normal in America, and it is imperative that we take strong proactive steps to prevent them,” said Tillis. “The bipartisan TAPS Act utilizes an innovative approach that is proven to be effective, creating a uniform program to identify threats and provide states with the opportunity to receive the training and resources necessary to save lives and keep our communities safe.”
“I am honored to reintroduce the TAPS Act this Congress with Marco Rubio leading the charge in the Senate,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, who is sponsoring the bill over in the U.S. House. “Our nation is desperately looking for solutions to stop the senseless violence that affects too many of our communities and schools. This bipartisan bill will save lives by focusing efforts on prevention rather than simply reaction, because once the first shot is fired, it is too late. The TAPS Act will provide our states and local communities with the resources, training, and support needed to stand up community-driven, multidisciplinary behavioral threat assessment units – allowing us to connect the dots and manage threats before an attack can occur.”
The bill will develop guidelines and provide states with the “training, resources, and support they need in order to stand up community-based, multidisciplinary behavioral threat assessment and management units" while creating a “temporary task force made up of experts in behavioral threat assessment and management to make recommendations to Congress for a National Strategy for preventing targeted violence.”
The bill has reeled in the support of a host of law enforcement organizations including the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA).
The bill was sent to the U.S. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Rubio has been increasingly focus on targeting violence. On the first day of the new Congress, Rubio brought back the “Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act.”
At the start of last month, Rubio paired up with Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, to reintroduce the bill which “will dedicate Department of Justice funds to incentivize states to give law enforcement the authority to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others the ability to purchase or possess firearms, while still providing due process protections.”
Rubio first unveiled the bill in March after the Parkland shooting.