Bill proposes guns to be taken from ‘extreme risk’ people

Posted: January 30, 2015 by gamegetterII in anti-gun asshattery
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— Judges in Washington state would be able to temporarily take away the guns of people whom family members or police consider at extreme risk of violence under a bill filed Wednesday.

The bill, introduced in both the state House and Senate, would allow a judge to prevent a person from having any firearms or a concealed-pistol license for a year after a relative or law enforcement officer requests a hearing based on recent behavior.

“This seems to me to strike a really good kind of common-sense, balanced approach to look at folks where there is an extreme risk and make sure we provide as much protection as we can,” said Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, who filed the House version of the bill and plans to bring it before the House Judiciary Committee she chairs.

According to a draft of the bill, a person with a pattern of violent acts or threats, drug abuse, brandishing weapons recklessly or domestic violence, among other acts, could have their firearms taken away by authorities. Judges would also be allowed to consider whether a person has violated a harassment restraining order and whether the person has bought guns within the last six months.

The protective order could be renewed for a second year if a judge finds that the person still poses a danger.

The bill is similar to a California law enacted after a gunman killed six people near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in May, after family members noticed disturbing behavior by the gunman but lacked a legal mechanism to have his firearms taken away. Connecticut and Indiana have similar laws in place.

The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups opposed the California legislation, saying it may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.

Under current Washington law, family members or police who notice a person is becoming a danger don’t have a means of legal protection short of a 14-day involuntary commitment, said Geoff Potter, communications director for Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

“People will be able to take action before a situation becomes critical and gets out of hand,” Potter said.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said Wednesday afternoon he is hoping to get Republicans from the Senate’s majority caucus to sign on as co-sponsors.

“Everybody recognizes that there are some people who we need to make sure don’t have access to weapons in these situations,” Frockt said.

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