Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) voted to pass H.R. 6538, the Bipartisan Active Shooter Alert Act. This bill would create an AMBER Alert-style system allowing law enforcement to alert the public of nearby active shooters. Rep. Thompson is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 6538.
“As the father of a deputy sheriff, I know how important it is for law enforcement to rapidly distribute accurate information to the general public following a crisis like a mass shooting,” said Thompson. “The Active Shooter Alert Act is a much-needed bill that will create an active shooter alert system for law enforcement, providing them with the tools they need to help provide our communities with timely information during an active shooter situation. I am proud to work with a bipartisan coalition of my colleagues, led by Reps. Cicilline and Upton, to make this a reality and ultimately save lives.”
The Bipartisan Active Shooter Alert Act would:
- Appoint an Active Shooter Alert Coordinator within the Department of Justice. The Coordinator would offer support and expert-developed best practices to local and state law enforcement to effectively implement active shooter alert systems. These practices and systems are adoptable on a voluntary basis.
- Create an Active Shooter Alert Network using the existing AMBER Alert infrastructure. Some jurisdictions around the country have local active shooter alert systems, but many of these programs have messaging delays and low enrollment. This legislation creates a Network for law enforcement to send active shooter alerts through IPAWS, the national system used for AMBER Alerts, to help fix these problems. Smartphones automatically receive IPAWS alerts, which are sent through a program with few to no delays. IPAWS also has precise geolocating technology, which can send alerts to specific locations down to 0.1 miles. Most law enforcement are familiar with IPAWS and have systems in place to use it; this legislation would simply create protocols and best practices to utilize this existing infrastructure for active shooter situations.
The Active Shooter Alert Act is endorsed by: National Sheriffs’ Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Police Foundation, National District Attorneys Association, Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation, North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association, Metropolitan Police Department (Washington, DC).
This bill complements the legislation the House has passed to help reduce gun violence including passing Rep. Thompson’s H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the H.R. 1446, a bill which addresses the Charleston Loophole. The House also has passed H.R. 2377, Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would create a federal red flag law to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a risk to themselves or others. The House also passed Rep. Thompson’s H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, which is a package of gun violence prevention legislation that would raise the purchasing age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old, crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off of our streets, subject ghost gun purchases to background check requirements, strengthen safe storage requirements, and close the bump stock loophole and outlaw high-capacity magazines, both of which are designed for killing en masse.
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