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H.R. 563: Identifying Mass Shooters Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 26, 2023 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 563


January 26, 2023

(for himself, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Carson, Mr. Evans, Ms. Porter, Ms. Kamlager-Dove, Ms. Brown, Ms. Stevens, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Payne, Ms. Williams of Georgia, Mr. Cleaver, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Plaskett, Mr. Moskowitz, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Ivey, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Lynch, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Sablan, and Mr. Davis of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To direct the National Institute of Justice to collect, study, and analyze online content created by mass shooters in an effort to early identify potential mass shooters.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Identifying Mass Shooters Act.



Congress finds the following:


Perpetrators of mass shootings have utilized various online channels to declare their intent to commit violence through manifestos, blog posts, social media posts, and direct messages prior to committing acts of terror.


Inadequate oversight and accountability mechanisms on online platforms creates an environment that enables hate speech, extremism, radicalization, and violence.


In 2018, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter posted a video on YouTube stating his desire to be a professional school shooter, and proceeded to share photos of himself posing with guns, along with troubling photos on Instagram of his weapons arsenal and an animal he tortured, prior to murdering 17 students and school staff members.


In 2018, the Santa Fe High School shooter posted a Facebook photo of a t-shirt with Born to Kill, and images of Nazi and satanic symbols prior to murdering 10 students and school staff members.


In 2022, the Buffalo Tops grocery store shooter declared on Discord, I will carry out an attack, posted a manifesto on 4chan, and then livestreamed the murder of 10 Black people in a racially motivated shooting.


In 2022, the Robb Elementary School shooter posted a photo of a hand holding a gun magazine, 2 semi-automatic rifles, a TikTok profile that warned Kids be scared, and sent a direct message though Yubo notifying an individual of his intent to kill prior to murdering 21 children and staff members.


The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs shooter demonstrated a fascination with mass shootings and launched personal attacks on Facebook prior to murdering 26 churchgoers, including an unborn child.


Report and recommendations


In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the National Institute of Justice shall prepare and submit a report to Congress identifying content patterns used by mass shooters through online platforms and social media channels.


Review and consultation

In preparing the report required under this section, the Director shall, at a minimum—


review information, data, and reports relating to linguistic patterns used by previous mass shooters collected by Federal, State, and local law enforcement as of the date of the enactment of this Act;


review academic studies, including studies analyzing the relevance of social media in mass shootings described in paragraph (1); and


meet with, and consider any facts and analyses offered by, prosecutors, defense attorneys, family attorneys, judges, nonprofit organizations, victims service providers, culturally specific organizations, Federal, State, Tribal, and local courts, Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies, and individuals with academic expertise in relinquishment.


Identification of items for further study

In the report under this section, the Director shall identify items for further study, relating to the effectiveness of the best practices developed under subsection (b). The Director shall publish a solicitation for applications for research grants on such items not later than 30 days after the date of the report.



In this Act:


Mass shooting

The term mass shooting means any incident in which four or more individuals, not including the shooter, are shot or killed with a gun.


Social media

The term social media means a channel for interactions among people in which they create, share, or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (specific activities including instant messages, social media posts, blogs, uploading media content, through social media platforms including, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, Twitch, 4chan, 8run, Yubo, and Discord).


Federal adoption

The National Institute of Justice shall prepare and submit to Congress findings and recommendations for Federal legislation in accordance with section 3.