Franken’s courthouse safety bill clears committee

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken after a shooting at a Grand Marais courthouse left three people injured last year cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

The legislation, entitled the Local Courthouse Safety Act, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a voice vote with two Senators registering no votes. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration though no floor vote has yet been scheduled

The bill will allow the Justice Department to work with local law enforcement organizations to train and prepare for possible mass shooting incidents, will allow states to use existing federal grant money to pay for security upgrades at courthouses and will let the federal government transfer surplus metal detectors and X-ray machines to local courts.

“Our local sheriffs, judges, and other court personnel, as well as the public, should be able to carry on business in our local courthouses knowing they are safe,” said Franken.

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