D.C. Council to Vote on “Red Flag” Gun Bill, Public Restrooms Plan
Bills from Councilmember Nadeau will reduce gun violence and create plan for public restrooms
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the D.C. Council will vote on “red flag” gun legislation that gives residents and police more tools to reduce access to firearms by those who are a risk to themselves or others. They will also vote on legislation that would lead to public restroom facilities and incentives for businesses that make restrooms available to the public. The bills, written and introduced by Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, will reduce gun violence and provide dignified facilities for residents experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. Tomorrow, both will receive their first of two required votes to become law before the end of the current Council session.
“Gun violence is an epidemic in our country and is all too common in the District. This bill will help save lives by getting guns out of the hands of people who are a risk,” said Councilmember Nadeau. “Lack of access to restrooms affects residents experiencing homelessness and people with unique restroom needs such as pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly. This bill will help increase access and provide facilities that help our most vulnerable populations.”
Reducing Gun Violence
Popularly known as a “red flag” law, the Extreme Risk Civil Protection Order Amendment Act is modeled after successful California legislation and is a vehicle for people to petition the court for a temporary extreme civil protection order where there is probable cause that the subject will cause injury to themselves or others. It allows police to immediately remove guns and prevents the subject of the order from legally purchasing other firearms for 10 days. After 10 days, the court will decide based on testimony and evidence if there is probable cause of harm to self or others to justify removing the firearms for a one-year period. Research on a similar Connecticut law found that a life is saved for every 10-20 risk-warrants issued. The bill was folded into a larger gun omnibus bill that passed the Judiciary Committee last week.
Creating Public Restrooms and Increasing Access
The Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act would create a plan for the District to provide public restroom facilities and create incentives for businesses that make restrooms available to the public. Nadeau is the Chair of the Human Services Committee which has oversight of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.The bill’s task force will make specific proposals, such as site location and pricing, which could serve as a roadmap for future installation of public restroom facilities. Many major world cities in Europe and Asia readily provide public restrooms, and large U.S. cities have increasingly sought to provide restroom access for all.