“Police are some of the best people in this country.”
WASHINGTON — To protect our country’s law enforcement officers, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) helped introduce the Back the Blue Act. The legislation would increase penalties for criminals who target law enforcement officers and provide new tools for officers to protect themselves.
“As Democrats attack, defund, and promote violence against police across America, it’s more important than ever that we back the brave men and women in blue,” said Senator Tuberville. “Any criminal who attacks an officer should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Those penalties would be rightly increased by this legislation.”
Specifically, the Back the Blue Act:
Strengthens Laws to Protect Police Officers
- Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
- Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.
- Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense alone.
Creates a Specific Aggravating Factor for Federal Death Penalty Prosecutions
- Clarifies that the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer or first responder is a statutory aggravating factor for purposes of the federal death penalty.
Limits Federal Habeas Relief for Murders of Law Enforcement Officers
- Imposes time limits and substantive limits on federal courts’ review of challenges to state-court convictions for crimes involving the murder of a public safety officer, when the public safety officer was engaged in the performance of official duties or on account of the performance of official duties. These changes are consistent with the fast-track procedures created in 1996, which are applied to federal death penalty cases.
Expands Self-Defense and Second Amendment Rights for Law Enforcement Officers
- Allows law enforcement officers, subject to limited regulation, to carry firearms into federal facilities and other jurisdictions where such possession is otherwise prohibited.
The Back the Blue Act is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and the New York Police Department Sergeants Benevolent Association.
Senator Tuberville also joined U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and all of his Republican colleagues to introduce a resolution officially recognizing May 14–20, 2023 as National Police Week.
“America’s brave men and women in blue wake up every day prepared to sacrifice their own safety in service to fellow Americans they may not even know,” said Senator Tuberville.“Police officers are the first line of defense for Alabamians and families across the country. Yet today, Democrats across the country have turned our police into national punching bags. Democrats’ attacks on our police are absolutely repugnant and must be condemned by every American, especially every American in public office. Police are some of the best people in this country. Now, more than ever, they deserve our gratitude and support.”
- Designates the week of May 14 through May 20, 2023 as “National Police Week.”
- Expresses strong support for law enforcement officers across the United States in the efforts that those officers undertake to build safer and more secure communities.
- Recognizes the need to ensure that law enforcement officers have the equipment, training, and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the officers while the officers are protecting the public.
- Recognizes the law enforcement community for the continual selfless acts of sacrifice and bravery carried out by the members of that community.
- Acknowledges that police officers and other law enforcement personnel, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, should be remembered and honored.
- Expresses condolences to the loved ones of each law enforcement officer who has made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
- Encourages the people of the United States to observe National Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities that promote awareness of the vital role that law enforcement officers perform in service to the United States and the communities in which those officers serve.
Senator Tuberville also recognized National Police Week last year by highlighting examples of outstanding law enforcement officers in Alabama.
More information about Senator Tuberville’s work to protect, defend, and support law enforcement can be found below.
- Tuberville Honors Fallen Alabama Law Enforcement After National Police Weekend
- WHAT ARE THEY SAYING: Support Grows for Tuberville’s Empowering Law Enforcement Act
- Tuberville: America’s Law Enforcement Need More Support, Not Less
- Tuberville: All Senate Democrats Pounce at Chance to Distance Themselves from ‘Defund Police’ Rhetoric
- Tuberville, Colleagues Resolution to Commemorate National Police Week Passes Senate
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.