More Than Just Thoughts and Prayers

Published: March 2, 2018

By Jim Lichtman
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California Representative Salud Carbajal speaking to the media regarding The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, (This is Who We’ve Become), which, if passed by the Senate, would effectively make it legal to carry a concealed weapon from state to state much like a driver’s license.

In a statement from his office, California Congressman Salud Carbajal told me:

“This shameful bill undermines California’s strong gun safety laws by forcing the recognition of weak concealed-carry permit standards – including 12 states that impose no requirements and allow concealed carry without permits.

“As our students lead the nation to demand progress on commonsense gun safety measures,” Carbajal added, “this bill is an extremely dangerous step backwards.”

During a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Wednesday, President Trump — responding to calls for stricter gun laws by students and the public — answered Congressman Steve Scalise’s option of adding Concealed Carry into current legislation.

“If you’re going to put concealed carry between states into this bill, we’re talking about a whole new ball game,” the president said.

Trump then moved on, listening to other options for more immediate action. One such action he embraced is a 2013 proposal by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey. The Manchin-Toomey bill calls for expanded background checks at gun shows and internet sales.

President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence also strongly favored a measure proposed by Representatives Salud Carbajal, (CA-24), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), and Don Beyer (VA-08).

The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act (GVRO)” a press release reads, “would allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis.”

On the floor of the House Wednesday, Rep. Carbajal said, “While the troubling details of the shooting in Florida are still emerging, it is clear this horrific act of violence was perpetrated by an individual in crisis. I lost my older sister to suicide with a firearm at a young age. What I’ve learned since, is that temporarily preventing people from having a gun while in a state of crisis saves lives. No parent should send their children to school each day wondering if they will return home. We are once again reminded that we have a responsibility to act in Congress to change things. We owe these families more than just our thoughts and prayers.”

The Act “…is designed to prevent people who pose a threat to themselves or others from having access to guns,” Rep. Beyer said. “[It] is already saving lives in the states which have adopted it. …Congress should immediately take up and pass this bill to extend these protections to the whole country.”

“Connecticut has taken the commonsense step of creating a Gun Violence Restraining Order,” said Rep. Esty “to protect families from high-risk, threatening individuals with access to high-powered weapons of war, and these restraining orders have saved real lives. It’s long past time for the country to follow Connecticut’s example…”

Before the end of the day, the following statement was issued:

“President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence supported implementation of gun violence restraining orders (GVRO)s, that are currently law in the Vice President’s home state of Indiana and in California.”

Summarizing –

The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act would incentivize states to enable family members or law enforcement officials to go to a court to seek a ‘gun violence prevention order,’ to temporarily stop someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun.

“The bill will also ensure that a court can issue a ‘gun violence prevention warrant,’ allowing law enforcement to take temporary possession of firearms that are in an individual’s possession if the court determines that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others. Furthermore, it would ensure that law enforcement makes full use of all existing state and local gun databases when assessing a tip, warning, or request from a concerned family member or other close associate.

“California implemented Gun Violence Restraining Orders in 2014 in response to the deadly mass shooting in Isla Vista.”


  1. Love the title and hopefully there have been enough deaths to get some changes approved. We will be marching on March 24th.

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