Rubio proposes legislation to encourage states to adopt 'gun violence protection orders'
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says he hopes more states enact gun violence protection orders that might prevent shootings like the high school massacre that killed 17 people.
Rubio said Wednesday he planned to file legislation that would give incentives to states enacting those protection orders. The incentives would come in the form of grants from the Department of Justice over the next five years.
The orders would allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition courts to prohibit the purchase or possession of guns by people who are deemed a significant threat.
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson joined Rubio for the announcement in Washington, D.C. Nelson said he backed the proposal, but he also ultimately wants universal background checks and more restrictions on assault weapons.
Parkland suspect indicted
Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has been formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder, which could mean a death sentence if he's convicted.
A grand jury in Fort Lauderdale returned the indictment Wednesday against the 19-year-old Cruz for the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people died and 16 were wounded.
The indictment also charges Cruz with 17 counts of attempted murder.
Cruz's public defender has said he'll plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, which would mean a life prison sentence. The Broward County state attorney hasn't announced a decision on the death penalty.