- The US House of Representatives passed a bill to create an active shooter alert system.
- All but one Democrat voted in favor of the bill, while majority of Republicans voted against it.
- The bill was endorsed by almost a dozen law enforcement organizations.
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022, which would create an Amber Alert-like system for active shooter situations.
While all but one Democrat voted in favor of the bill, a majority of Republicans voted against it.
Rep. Ron Kind, a Democrat from Wisconsin's 3rd district, was the only Democrat to vote against the bill. Kind couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Republicans were less unified in their vote on the bill, with 43 voting in favor and 168 voting against it.
During a debate over the bill, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, said an active shooter alert system is designed to make people "hate" their second amendment rights, the Independent reported.
"Why do the Democrats want to use the power of government to bombard your cellphone with active shooter alerts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?" Gaetz said, the Independent reported. "It's because they want you to be afraid of the second amendment."
Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, helped introduce the bill in February. During National Police Week in May, Cicilline was joined by law enforcement officials who also endorsed the bill.
Law enforcement often has to rely on social media to communicate active shooter threats, Cicilline said in a May statement. The alert system would streamline those communications.
"In these stressful, life-or-death situations, law enforcement officers are having to take to social media to communicate with the surrounding community so that no one accidentally walks into the line of fire or a crime scene," Cicilline said in the statement. "Law enforcement needs and deserves better tools than Twitter to communicate with the community,"
Jonathan Thompson, the Executive Director and CEO of the National Sheriffs' Association, approved the bill.
"Having the capacity to send immediate active shooter alerts to the community will be instrumental in reducing risk to schools, churches, restaurants, retail stores, and more, where people have a reasonable expectation to gather safely," Thompson said in the statement. "This alert system will be another excellent tool for law enforcement to do its job."
Cicilline listed 11 police organizations that gave the bill their stamp of approval, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations.