WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD)- The U.S. House passed legislation on Wednesday to create an active shooter communications system that would alert communities to a nearby active shooter incident.

The bill, entitled the Active Shooter Alert System Act, passed in a 260-169 vote, with only one Democrat siding with the opposition.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01), who introduced the bipartisan legislation with Reps. David Cicilline (RI-01) and Fred Upton (MI-06), applauded last night’s vote.

“It is vital to our communities and children we implement policies which will keep them safe from active shooter threats,” Rep. Mace said. “I look forward to watching this bipartisan piece of legislation pass the Senate, then enacted throughout the country to save lives.”

The Act would establish the Active Shooter Alert Communications Network which would notify individuals in the vicinity of an active gunman. Rep. Mace said the opt-in system would work similarly to the AMBER alert system.

According to the Hill, the measure was introduced last month under suspension, a process that allows a bill to pass quickly if it has two-thirds support, but ultimately failed in a 259 to 162 vote.

Another sponsor of the bill, Rep. Cicilline, said an active shooter alert system would be an asset to law enforcement officers who are often relying on “social media to communicate with the surrounding community so that no one accidentally walks into the line of fire.”

“Mass shootings have become ubiquitous so frequent that some of these horrific events barely make headlines but we cannot become numb to these events,” Rep. Cicilline. “Law enforcement needs and deserves than Twitter to communicate with the community and the Active Shooter Alert Act answers that call.”

Per Rep. Cicilline’s office, the Act was endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National District Attorneys Office, amongst other law enforcement agencies.

The legislation also calls for an officer from the Department of Justice to serve as the national coordinator of the communications network. This role would encourage federal, state, tribal, and local governments to establish active shooter response procedures and publish reports on those responses.

Co-sponsor Rep. Upton emphasized the legislation has a primary focus on “keeping our communities safe and supporting law enforcement.”

By alerting the public to an ongoing active shooter threat, we can help folks avoid the area and better enable police and first responders to focus on ending the situation and saving lives,” Rep. Upton said. “I have heard from our law enforcement and police chiefs that active shooter alerts can be a vital tool to provide accurate, real-time information to our communities, and one they believe will help in these dangerous situations.”  

Republican objectors, including Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-04), argue that there already existing systems in place achieve the desired goals set forth in this legislation and that the bill “does nothing but create another useless federal bureaucracy.”

“Over 1,400 state and local agencies already participate in a federal system known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) which is capable of rapidly notifying the public about a wide variety of threats, including active shooters,” he said. “There is absolutely no language in this bill to enhance that system, either by making it more reliable or expanding its reach.”

Rep. Norman joined two other South Carolina Republicans–Reps. Duncan (SC-03) and Timmons (SC-04) in voting against the measure. Reps. Rice (SC-07) and Wilson (SC-02) voted in favor.

South Carolina’s lone Democratic congressman, Clyburn (SC-06), also voted for the alert system.