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Katko: Congress should pass federal red flag laws to stop mass shooters

Rep. John Katko
Facebook (file photo)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), left, and Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus)

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said Monday, following two mass shootings that left more than 30 dead and dozens more injured, said something needs to be done to stop these violent acts from happening. 

"It's not enough to be saddened, it's not enough to be heartbroken, it's not enough to send your love out to the families," Katko said. "It's we do something about it. It's well past time."

Katko said Congress should pass red flag legislation he introduced in September 2018, that would restrict access to guns from someone who is deemed a threat to themselves or others. It's legislation Katko said may have stopped the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, who killed 9 people and injured dozens of other before being killed by police. Authorities have said the shooter had been suspended while in high school for writing a "hit list" and a "rape list."

"If you're posting things online, and you're exhibiting signs of extreme problems, you've got to do something," Katko said. "The guy in Dayton got suspended from school in high school for having a rape list and a kill list. That should be a red flag and we should be able to act on that."

Katko said he was happy to hear President Trump show support for red flag laws and hopes it will come up for a vote in the House soon.

Democrats in Congress have been pushing for stricter gun control measures. The House of Representatives passed a bill in February that would expand universal background checks, but it has not come up for a vote in the Senate.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), along with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the Senate back from its August recess to pass the universal background checks bill.

"That seems like a common sense area that 90% of Americans can agree on," Brindisi said Monday in Binghamton. "But we're not doing that right now because Mitch McConnell won't bring the bill up for a vote."

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.