Enact a Gun Violence Restraining Order Law
Under a federal law enacted in 1968, an individual is prohibited from buying or possessing firearms if he/she has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution.”
Following a series of mass shootings from 2007-2012 perpetrated by gunmen who suffered from mental illness (Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Tucson, and Aurora, among others)—and who in many cases legally purchased the firearms they used to kill with—there has been a great deal of conversation about what more can be done to keep firearms away from such individuals. It is important to tailor new policies that will protect the American public while at the same time avoiding the stigmatization of Americans with mental illness.
Such policies should focus on evidence-based, time-sensitive risk criteria in prohibiting gun access as opposed to past diagnoses of mental illness and psychiatric hospitalizations. One promising strategy calls for a “gun violence prevention restraining order” (similar to a domestic violence restraining order) that would allow family members and law enforcement, with a court order, to temporarily prohibit a person from possessing a firearm.
Please sign this petition calling on state lawmakers to enact a gun violence prevention restraining order law.