Moulton jointly files bill designating mass shooters as terrorists

August 6 – WASHINGTON, DC – Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, following a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, is co-sponsoring a new bill that allows mass shootings to continue in as acts of terrorism.

Moulton, D-Salem, filed the “Mass Shooter Prosecution Act” with Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, a Democrat from El Paso, Texas.

Under the provisions of the bill, mass shootings would be considered acts of terrorism and law enforcement, following an attack, would be able to uncover the wider network that supported the attack. , Moulton said.

The current law allows “law enforcement to conduct thorough and aggressive pursuits of an entire terrorist network. But so far, mass shootings are not legally considered acts of terrorism. This effectively cripples law enforcement in the aftermath of an attack, giving those with material support to the mass shooter time to cover their tracks and plan another shootout,” Moulton said, in a prepared statement. published at the end of last week.

He said that by prosecuting mass shooters as terrorists, law enforcement would be better equipped to target and dismantle terrorist networks after an attack.

“The recent shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Highland Park were nothing short of terrorism. The media, the general public, even the President are calling them that. But from a legal standpoint, we are not currently prosecuting the mass shootings as terrorist attacks as they are,” Moulton said.

“My bill would not only allow mass shooters to be legally treated as terrorists, but it would also expand our ability to pursue the networks of online facilitators behind these attacks,” he said. .

Escobar said his El Paso community “has been forever changed by the actions of a domestic terrorist fueled by white supremacy theories.”

On May 24, a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. It is the deadliest US school shooting in nearly a decade.

“With this legislation, we are giving law enforcement the tools they need to successfully investigate terrorist networks and anyone responsible for attacks on our communities. Proactive policies like these are essential. to save lives and prevent future shootings,” Escobar said. .

The bill specifically states that a mass shooting should only be considered an act of terrorism if it results in at least three deaths and if the shooter uses a semi-automatic rifle or a fully automatic weapon. These additional measures will ensure that the statute will not be misused by law enforcement to target traditionally overpoliced ​​communities with impunity, Moulton said.

Moulton and Escobar noted that mass shooters in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park all used weapons qualified under this bill. These terrorist acts claimed the lives of 38 innocent people.

Mass Shooter Prosecutions Act would allow law enforcement to charge perpetrators as federal terrorists and further assist law enforcement in uncovering and bringing to justice the networks that materially supported them , they said in a joint statement.

Jill Harmacinski can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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