Palm Beach County sheriff tells senators ‘red flag’ law and trained teams could have prevented Parkland shooting

If Florida’s “red flag” law had been in place at the time, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Tuesday, it’s possible the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre could have been prevented.

Bradshaw testified about red flag laws before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which may advance legislation encouraging states to implement their own versions of the laws that allow courts to order removal of guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

The sheriff cautioned, however, that red flag laws authorizing what are formally known as “risk protection orders” aren’t a panacea.

“The use of the risk protection order appears to be a valuable tool, and I stress that tool. It’s not the end all,” he said. “It is just another tool in the tool box to use to make sure that once we identify this person that has that propensity to do what they’ve indicated they are going to do — which this kid in Parkland did several times.”

And guns aren’t the only thing that can be used to commit a violent act, he said. “It could be a car. It could be a rock. It could be a pressure cooker. So sometimes it’s not the instrument, it’s the hands of who you put this instrument in.”

Pressure cookers were used to make bombs that were detonated at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

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