Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio announced his plans Thursday to prevent future school shootings, highlighting on the Senate floor temporary gun restraining orders as well as other measures as an option to prevent a shooting like the one last month in Parkland, Florida.
“No matter where you fall on this debate … I don’t know of anyone who’s in favor of school shootings and I don’t know anyone who’s in favor of that happening,” Rubio said on the Senate floor. “I actually believe this attack could have and should have been prevented if current law had been fully enforced.”
He also said he is looking into efforts to strengthen school security, provide school training to identify threats and create a school threat assessment intervention teams, which would coordinate between law enforcement and other state agencies to flag students who could be violent.
Rubio said he wants to introduce legislation that would enforce law enforcement gun restraining orders, which are already in place in states such as California and Oregon. It was an idea he first mentioned at CNN’s town hall on guns last week. If implemented, it would allow people to petition a court to remove a person’s access to guns.
Rubio also pressed his colleagues to support the “Fix NICs” legislation introduced by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, which would offer financial incentives for federal and state authorities to comply with existing law to report criminal history records to the system. That would make it easier for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to flag and weed out people who shouldn’t be able to buy guns. In the simplest terms, the bill wouldn’t strengthen background checks but instead hold federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload records to the background check system.
He also said he is joining a bipartisan group of senators in filing the “Lie and Try” bill, which would require the FBI to notify states when a prohibited person tries to buy a gun and fails the required background check so they can be investigated and prosecuted.
He also reiterated he’s open to considering legislation that would raise the age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, and open to reconsidering the size of gun magazines.
Rubio first announced his plans in a tweet Thursday morning, writing: “Later today I will be announcing my plan to keep our students safe in school & keeping any guns of any kind out of the hands of dangerous or deranged people. We all agree that what happened in Parkland can never happen again anywhere & changes exist we can all get behind.”
Rubio has been outspoken on the need for changes to existing gun laws after the shooting at a high school in his state last month that left 17 people dead.
On Wednesday, Rubio bemoaned the lack of civility in American politics amid the polarizing debate on gun control.
“The debate after #Parkland reminds us We The People don’t really like each other very much. We smear those who refuse to agree with us,” Rubio wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
He continued, “We claim a Judea-Christian heritage but celebrate arrogance & boasting. (And) worst of all we have infected the next generation with the same disease.”
Rubio tweeted the argument he’s making is not limited to the gun debate. He also blamed the media for contributing to the “nasty” political dialogue among Americans.
“Our political dialogue is nasty in no small part because conflict (and) outrage translates to clicks (and) ratings for media (and) gets obscure figures booked on tv.”
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.