- Alex Wong/Getty Images
- A group of 36 Republican and Democratic senators are backing a bill that would authorize the Justice Department to create grants for training students, teachers, and law enforcement to identify and intervene before a school shooting takes place.
- The Stop School Violence Act would also provide funding for increased security through modern technology.
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of senators are coalescing around legislation to address potential school shooters in advance of any massacre, without curbing gun ownership in any way, increasing the likelihood of garnering enough Republican support.
The Stop School Violence Act, introduced by Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, aims to permit the Department of Justice to create federal grants to train students, teachers, and police to be able to properly intervene when there are signs that a student could pose a threat to themselves or others. The bill would also fund new technology for school security systems.
On Tuesday, a group of Republican senators, along with Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, reiterated their support for the bill alongside Kyle Kashuv, one of the surviving students from the February attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Kashuv, who has been an outspoken proponent of 2nd Amendment rights since the shooting, told Business Insider that after connecting with Hatch and other senators, he decided to back the Stop School Violence Act because it addressed ways of preventing school shootings without infringing on any gun rights.
Sen. Nelson said that while there are obvious differences of opinion on how to fully address the issue, “it’s important that we get something done and get something done in a bipartisan way.”
“We should get behind it and we should pass it,” said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the bill’s 36 cosponsors. “And we should move forward and continue to debate or address the other issues because identifying these people before they take action is the most important thing we can do and the most effective thing we can do and something we all agree on.”
Rubio, whose approval numbers have tanked in Florida since the shooting, has dealt with backlash from groups and colleagues pushing for new restrictions on guns. Kashuv said it is disheartening to see attacks on senators like Rubio.
“Every single [senator] is so outgoing and they really wanna pass this bill,” Kashuv said. “Then when I see people kind of like being rude to them or disrespectful, it’s kind of sad to me because they’re really great men.”