Reps. Moulton and Escobar Introduce “Mass Shooter Prosecution Act”
New bill would allow mass shooting to be prosecuted as acts of terrorism
Washington, D.C.-- Today Congressman Seth Moulton and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar introduced the “Mass Shooter Prosecution Act” which would allow U.S. law enforcement to prosecute mass shootings as acts of terrorism. It would also enable law enforcement, in the wake of an attack, to uncover the broader network that supported the attack.
The current Material Support statute enables law enforcement to conduct a thorough and aggressive prosecution of an entire terrorist network. But until now, mass shootings are not legally deemed as acts of terrorism. This effectively handicaps law enforcement in the wake of an attack, giving those who provided material support to the mass shooter the time to cover their tracks and plan another shooting.
By prosecuting mass shooters as terrorists, law enforcement will be better equipped to target and dismantle terrorist networks after an attack.
“The shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park were nothing short of terrorism. The media, the general public, even the President call them that. But from a legal standpoint, we don’t currently prosecute mass shootings like the terrorist attacks that they are,” said Congressman Moulton. “My bill would not only allow mass shooters to be legally treated like terrorists, but it would also expand our ability to prosecute the networks of online enablers behind these attacks.”
“My community of El Paso was forever changed by the actions of a domestic terrorist fueled by white supremacy theories,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “With this legislation, we’re giving law enforcement the tools they need to follow through with investigations into terrorist networks and any individual responsible for attacks against our communities. Proactive policies like these are crucial to saving lives and preventing future shootings.”
The bill specifically stipulates that a mass shooting is to be considered an act of terrorism only if it results in at least three fatalities and if the shooter uses a semi-automatic rifle or fully-automatic weapon. Such additional measures will ensure that the statute will not be misused by law enforcement to target traditionally overpoliced communities with impunity.
The “Mass Shooter Prosecution Act” also requires the Department of Justice to produce thorough data reports on the arrests made under this and related statutes. Such reports allow Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities and ensure the law is being implemented in the intended manner.
The mass shooters in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park all utilized qualified arms under this bill. These terrorist acts took thirty-eight innocent lives. The Mass Shooter Prosecution Act would allow law enforcement to charge these perpetrators as federal terrorists and further help law enforcement uncover and bring to justice the networks that materially supported them.
More information about the Mass Shooter Prosecution Act can be found HERE. Full bill text can be found HERE