A bill that explicitly authorizes federal law enforcement to help investigate and respond to mass killings passed by a voice vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, and will now head to President Obama's desk to be signed into law.
The Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), passed the Senate in December.
“The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies are often crucial allies for local and state officials working to respond to mass shootings and other violent crimes, as they have been in Connecticut over the past few days,” Whitehouse said in a statement last month. “This bill will give these agencies clear authority to continue to provide this assistance to the state and local law enforcement officials who have primary responsibility to solve these terrible crimes and protect our communities.”
The bill does not expand the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement but, according to Whitehouse's office, it will avoid unnecessary delays and liability risks when federal agents to respond to violent crimes in public areas.