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Nadler Floor Statement for the Active Shooter Alert Act

Washington, D.C. - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler today delivered the following remarks, as prepared, on the House floor in support of the Active Shooter Alert Act (H.R. 6538):
“The Active Shooter Alert Act, is bipartisan legislation that would improve the tools available to law enforcement as they respond to the disturbingly frequent threat of active shooters faced by our communities.
“Far too many of our cities have experienced the threat of an active shooter situation.  Since we last voted on this very bill—only a few weeks ago—Highland Park became the most recent city to face the terror of a mass shooting, following Buffalo and Uvalde and so many others.  In 2021, the FBI designated 61 situations as active shooter incidents, a more than 50% increase compared to 2020, and nearly double the number of such incidents just 4 years ago. 
“These incidents require law enforcement to make challenging decisions about how best to keep the public safe, including when and how to inform the public as a situation unfolds.  FEMA, the FCC, and wireless providers already have a system in place to send time-sensitive, location-targeted alerts for weather emergencies, AMBER alerts for child abduction cases, and other public safety emergencies. 
“This bill simply enables law enforcement to use this system for active shooter alerts, giving them an additional tool to save lives.  It is bipartisan legislation and should be completely uncontroversial. 
“Indeed, our colleagues overwhelmingly supported this legislation when we last voted on it, but the opposition of a few Members prevented it from garnering the two-thirds support it needed to pass under suspension of the rules.  Those Members in opposition have made absurd claims about the bill—instead of examining what it actually does—but we won’t take the bait. 
“Instead, we are listening to our law enforcement and first responders who have called for this legislation.  Today, we are taking action to save lives when tragedy strikes.  We will continue to do much more to actually prevent these tragedies, but the least we can do is to improve the tools we give law enforcement to respond to a crisis.  That is what this bill does.
“H.R. 6538, the Active Shooter Alert Act, directs the Attorney General to appoint a coordinator to work with federal, state, local, and tribal governments to better use our existing emergency alert system for active shooter situations.  It directs the Coordinator to establish an advisory panel, comprised of law enforcement officers who have responded to active shooter incidents, along with other public safety and emergency response experts.  The Coordinator is also directed to establish best practices for using emergency alerts for active shooter incidents, to promote the adoption of those best practices, and to report to Congress on the effectiveness of these alerts.
“This bipartisan legislation is endorsed by a broad range of federal, state and local law enforcement organizations.  I thank Congressman Cicilline for his work in developing this important legislation, I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting it once again, and I reserve the balance of my time.”
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