Kamala Harris visits Parkland school shooting site to push for new gun laws

US Vice President Kamala Harris called on 29 other states to pass “red flag” laws. — Reuters

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Parkland High School in Florida on Saturday to urge states to strengthen laws banning gun possession by high-risk groups. Reuters the report said.

The Parkland High School the Vice President visited today is where a then-19-year-old student killed 17 people in 2018. He was examined for mental health issues before pleading guilty and being sentenced to life in prison.

According to White House officials, Harris was on her way to meet with the victims’ families and visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the murders occurred.

“Red flag” laws allow courts to issue “extreme risk protection orders” to remove firearms from individuals deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others.

Six U.S. states have such laws and are using $750 million to implement crisis intervention programs under the bipartisan Safe Communities Act of 2022, the official said.

As part of her visit, Harris will call on the 29 other states that don’t have such laws to pass them and encourage the 15 more states that do have them to start using available federal funds.

Florida approved a red flag law after the 2018 shootings but has not yet spent federal funds, the official said.

The Parkland shooter was a 19-year-old student at the school and had been found to suffer from mental health issues. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

The building where the shooting occurred is scheduled to be demolished this year. It has remained largely unchanged since the 2018 shooting, with bloodstains and bullet holes still visible.

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Some supporters argue red flag laws violate their constitutional right to bear arms, while gun safety advocates point to some studies showing they can prevent some deaths.

President Joe Biden has made gun violence a key issue in his 2024 re-election campaign and appointed Harris, a former prosecutor, to oversee the effort. Both have traveled across the country to meet with family members of those killed in mass shootings.

The United States has the highest gun homicide rate among high-income countries with a population of more than 10 million, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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