Grassley leads bipartisan reintroduction of Mass Violence Prevention Bill

(ABC 6 News) – Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress reintroduced the EAGLES Act to prevent acts of mass violence.

The bill, named after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mascot, would expand the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) to include a greater focus on preventing targeted violence, including school violence.

The NTAC provides research and training for behavioral threat assessment and targeted violence, including school shootings and other public threats. The legislation creates a national program on targeted school violence prevention, and expands the NTAC’s research and training on school violence and its dissemination of information on school violence prevention initiatives.

The Senate legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.).

“Accurate behavioral threat assessments and early interventions are essential to maintaining a safe environment in our schools and communities and preventing another tragedy from taking place,” Grassley said. “The U.S. Secret Service is uniquely equipped to help evaluate these threats, and our bill would enable them to share their tools and expertise with school safety partners across the country. While we can never bring back the lives tragically lost in horrific acts of violence, we must do all we can to honor their memories by preventing future violence from occurring.”

“The EAGLES Act would leverage the National Threat Assessment Center to provide a proactive and multi-pronged approach to identify and stop threats of school violence,” Rubio said. “I thank Senator Grassley for his continued leadership on this legislation, and urge the Senate to pass this bill.”

“In the five years since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we’ve worked every day to honor the 17 lives taken and to protect our schools, students and educators,” Scott said. “Our bipartisan bill, the EAGLES Act, is an important step to improve school safety and provide more resources to law enforcement to prevent future tragedies from happening. I urge my colleagues to finally pass this bill.”

“Every child deserves to feel safe in the classroom, and school gun violence is a heartbreaking issue that far too many American families have faced. I’m proud to reintroduce this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to expand programs offered by NTAC and help our law enforcement officials understand and mitigate threats at our schools,” Manchin said. “I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect our children and prevent violence in schools across West Virginia and the United States.”

“Our country has seen far too many acts of violence. Americans deserve to live their lives safely—at school, at grocery stores, at concerts, at places of worship, the list goes on,” King said. “The EAGLES Act is a simple, commonsense, important step to stop mass violence before it happens and keep communities safe from these tragedies. This bill will build on the National Threat Assessment Center track record of success and empower them to share their vast information resources wider to prevent future threats. I’m proud to join the bipartisan, bicameral coalition working on this bill and hope we can ensure its swift passage to help stop mass violence across our nation.”

“No child should feel unsafe in the classroom, and it is imperative that we take action to ensure that schools are a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and staff,” Collins said. “This legislation would improve research and training to prevent targeted violence, including threats to schools. This is one of many commonsense steps that we can take to help protect our communities.”

“On the fifth anniversary of the tragic, senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that took the lives of 17 innocent individuals, I continue to pray for all those that experienced that horrific attack,” Diaz-Balart said. “Sadly, after Parkland, these targeted attacks have become more common. As we have learned, threat assessments and early intervention are proven and effective ways to prevent violent conduct, and Congress must ensure that all communities are equipped with the tools to identify and respond to any and all threats. The EAGLES Act is a crucial step toward protecting our communities, schools, workplaces, and houses of worship by ensuring that they have the knowledge and resources to identify and respond to potential acts of targeted violence. I am proud to reintroduce this crucial bill and remain optimistic that it can soon become law.”

“Five years ago, our community was rocked to its core by school violence. We must do everything in our power to leverage our best resources to keeping our kids safe,” Moskowitz said. “By building on the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center model, schools and community leaders can receive trainings on how to prevent and respond to violence. By naming the legislation the Eagles Act, we will always remember the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the importance of preventing future school tragedies.”