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.