WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Rick Scott, Ron Johnson and James Lankford introduced the Threat Information Protocol for Sharing (TIPS) Act to hold the FBI accountable for its failures to address critical deficiencies in its handling of actionable intelligence on the perpetrators of mass violence. This legislation is supported by Stand with Parkland, an organization founded by the family members of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the 17 souls that were taken from us in a brutal act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following the tragedy, we all worked together to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act to make our schools safer and prevent future tragedies, but we aren’t finished. We cannot accept the repeated failures of the FBI to properly investigate and act on specific tips received about the Parkland shooter, as well as other perpetrators of mass violence in Florida. I’m proud to introduce the TIPS Act, which bridges the gap between federal and state law enforcement agencies by mandating information sharing of all state-specific criminal intelligence tips. This is about getting information on threats into the hands of the right people, who can ultimately prevent violence and protect our families.”
Senator Ron Johnson said, “The FBI and state and local law enforcement must work together to prevent tragedies like at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This legislation closes an information gap between the FBI and local authorities by requiring the FBI to share information reported to its tip line with state and local law enforcement, who may be better positioned to stop a threat.”
Senator James Lankford said, “The FBI and our state and local law enforcement should work together to share information to protect Oklahomans and Americans. The TIPS Act requires the FBI to share information on possible violence with local law enforcement communities in a timely manner. When a tip is received, law enforcement must move quickly to assess its credibility, and state and local police departments may have more specific information that the FBI does not have access to yet. Congress should remove every obstacle that would prevent state and local law enforcement from getting all the information they need to prevent violence in their communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to make sure this bill becomes law.”
The TIPS Act makes the information sharing process more transparent and accountable, and forces the FBI to be proactive with local law enforcement. The TIPS Act:
- Mandates information-sharing of all state-specific information received through the FBI’s national tip line and online tip reporting website.
- The FBI must submit monthly reports of all information received about individuals and threats to the appropriate state law enforcement agency and Fusion Center.
- The monthly report must include the specific information received, including:
- The name of the individual identified;
- The nature, location, and date of the threat reported; and
- The action taken by the FBI, if any.
- Demands increased accountability and oversight for the FBI’s national tip line operations.
- Directs the Government Accountability Office to review and make recommendations to improve the FBI’s processes and procedures in its operation of the national tip line; and
- Directs the FBI to annually report to Congress the number of criminal events associated with tips and information received through the national tip line, and the FBI’s investigative action(s) based on such tips and information.