Ron Kind only Democrat to vote against Active Shooter Alert Act
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was the only Democrat to vote against a bill aimed at creating a national alert system that would warn people about nearby active shooters, indicating he believes the legislation would do more harm than good.
The so-called Active Shooter Alert Act passed the House on a vote of 260-169 Wednesday night, with 43 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Wisconsin’s GOP delegation unanimously voted against the measure.
In a statement Thursday, Kind said he is “concerned that a system like this could generate more chaos and cause armed civilians to rush to the scene, potentially interfering with law enforcement efforts.”
The bill would, in part, allow states to implement mass-alert messaging systems, similar to Amber Alerts, to warn people in the vicinity of an active shooter. The measure would establish a position in the Department of Justice to act as a “national coordinator” of an active shooter alert communications network.
Wisconsin U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore both said the measure could save lives.
“I just think any tool we have to help avoid additional deaths when we have an active shooter is helpful,” Pocan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Those alerts do make you aware of something so you can avoid it.”
“It seemed like a pretty innocuous measure,” he added. “I’m surprised this many people decided to resist it.”
The measure next goes to the Senate.
More:Wisconsin congressional delegation splits along party lines on passage of bipartisan gun safety bill
Kind, who is retiring after this term, supported historic gun legislation last month that provides new funding to bolster mental health services, improve school security and help states to set up so-called “red flag laws” to enable authorities to temporarily take away guns from individuals who are a threat to themselves or others.
Wisconsin’s delegation split along party lines on that measure, which was signed into law June 25.