News Update

New York, DC look to combat domestic terrorism after Buffalo shooting

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Just days after this past weekend’s racist shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, lawmakers in New York and Washington have begun efforts to combat domestic terrorism. In Washington, the House of Representatives passed a bill late Wednesday.

“We have a problem with domestic terror. It’s real,” President Joe Biden said in Buffalo earlier this week. “That’s what the Intelligence Committee’s been saying. That’s what the military was saying for a long time. There’s nothing new about this.”

The bill would bolster federal resources aimed at preventing domestic terrorism. The House passed a similar measure in 2020 only to have it languish in the Senate.

“We in Congress can’t stop the likes of Tucker Carlson from spewing hateful, dangerous replacement theory ideology across the airwaves. Congress hasn’t been able to ban the sale of assault weapons,” Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said on the House floor. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act is what Congress can do this week to try to prevent future Buffalo shootings.”

Wednesday night’s vote was nearly exactly along party lines. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was the only Republican to vote for it.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) used an executive order to “require state police to seek court orders to keep guns away from people who might pose a threat to themselves or others ” Wednesday.

“They’ll develop the best practices for law enforcement, for mental health professionals, for school officials to address the rise in homegrown extremism,” Gov. Hochul said at a news conference Wednesday. “This executive order will also establish a dedicated domestic terrorism unit within our New York State Intelligence Center, focusing on monitoring social media.”

Hochul also signed an executive order that would require state police to seek court orders to keep guns away from people who might pose a threat to themselves or others. New York is among states that have a so-called “red flag” law, which allows law enforcement officials to petition a court to take away someone’s firearms if they are potentially dangerous because of a mental health problem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shannon Longworth: A bill aimed at preventing racially motivated attacks–like the one in Buffalo–is heading to the senate.
If passed, it would provide more resources to prevent domestic terrorism, but some argue it’s overreaching.
The idea behind the bill–sharing information among intelligence agencies–would help better track and prevent attacks.
New York’s Governor has *already* signed an executive order in direct response to the shooting.
President Joe Biden: “We have a problem with domestic terror. It’s real. I know you don’t want to hear me. Not you, people don’t want to hear me saying it. They say, well, he’s the president, he’s a Democrat. But that’s what the Intelligence Committee’s been saying. That’s what the military was saying for a long time. There’s nothing new about this.”
Shannon Longworth: Governor Kathy Hochul’s package of state-level executive orders will establish a unit focusing exclusively on *domestic* terrorism
The order also calls for a unit to monitor social media content.
Gov. Kathy Hochul | (D) New York: “These social media platforms have to take responsibility. They must be more vigilant in monitoring the content, and they must be held accountable for favoring engagement over public safety.”
Shannon Longworth: The House legislation passed mostly along party lines and faces an uphill battle when it gets to the tightly contested Senate.
This legislation was introduced by House Democrats as early as 2017, but Republicans have been critical of the bill, saying it’s politically motivated.

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Just days after this past weekend’s racist shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, lawmakers in New York and Washington have begun efforts to combat domestic terrorism. In Washington, the House of Representatives passed a bill late Wednesday.

“We have a problem with domestic terror. It’s real,” President Joe Biden said in Buffalo earlier this week. “That’s what the Intelligence Committee’s been saying. That’s what the military was saying for a long time. There’s nothing new about this.”

The bill would bolster federal resources aimed at preventing domestic terrorism. The House passed a similar measure in 2020 only to have it languish in the Senate.

“We in Congress can’t stop the likes of Tucker Carlson from spewing hateful, dangerous replacement theory ideology across the airwaves. Congress hasn’t been able to ban the sale of assault weapons,” Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said on the House floor. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act is what Congress can do this week to try to prevent future Buffalo shootings.”

Wednesday night’s vote was nearly exactly along party lines. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was the only Republican to vote for it.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) used an executive order to “require state police to seek court orders to keep guns away from people who might pose a threat to themselves or others ” Wednesday.

“They’ll develop the best practices for law enforcement, for mental health professionals, for school officials to address the rise in homegrown extremism,” Gov. Hochul said at a news conference Wednesday. “This executive order will also establish a dedicated domestic terrorism unit within our New York State Intelligence Center, focusing on monitoring social media.”

Hochul also signed an executive order that would require state police to seek court orders to keep guns away from people who might pose a threat to themselves or others. New York is among states that have a so-called “red flag” law, which allows law enforcement officials to petition a court to take away someone’s firearms if they are potentially dangerous because of a mental health problem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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