|Posted:||February 23, 2018 09:08 AM|
|From:||Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Protection from Firearms Violence Order|
|In order to prevent acts of terrorism, our government has long encouraged citizens who see something to say something. Our nation has been rocked by numerous incidents where unstable individuals have used firearms to commit acts of terrorism that took the lives of innocent people. After the fact, we have learned that family members probably knew that the gunmen suffered from mental illness or otherwise showed a propensity toward acts of violence. Our government-run background check systems for firearms purchases and our Protection from Abuse Act only serve to protect people from gun violence where prior convictions or actions have occurred. It is time to empower the people closest to potential gunmen to take action before a tragedy occurs.
I will soon introduce legislation to grant standing in court to family members and those who live with an individual to petition for an order disabling a troubled individual from possessing a firearm. The bill will state a clear standard that must be met to target only those individuals who show a propensity toward violence. With the goal of preventing gun violence while respecting the constitutionally protected right to firearms ownership, the bill will require the court to hold a hearing and allow the targeted individual to present evidence. The order will expire after a certain time frame unless a continued threat can be demonstrated. The bill will contain a provision allowing the targeted individual to petition the court to rescind the order.
Such an order – known by various names, including an “extreme violence protection order” or a “red flag law” – have been proposed in other states and supported by organizations across the ideological spectrum. Most important, such an order will enable people in our communities to take action with information not available to the government, thereby protecting themselves and countless other innocent people.
Please join me in supporting this timely and important public safety legislation.
Introduced as SB1141