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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gun Control Consortium Wants to Make it Easier to Seize Firearms

One of the take aways from yesterday's gun control forum hosted by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy at the UVA Law School is that the gun ban lobby wants to use a little slight of hand to get the same tired proposals passed that they have been pushing for years.  Josh Horwitz said as much when he said during his comments that all of their proposals that would be outlined must start with background checks.  But this time, they hope to gain support by making it sound like they only want to keep firearms out of the hands of people they think are a threat to others - like people who may have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), and even people that neighbors or family members think pose a threat to others.  To do this, they want to create the ability for law enforcement to seize firearms with and without warrants.  Throughout the four hours of the forum, attendees and those watching the event live streamed heard from anti-rights "researchers" and legislators. 

The Daily Progress summarized their proposals:
The group recommended a special warrant that would allow police to remove firearms from the possession of people authorities believe to be a danger to themselves or others. Additionally, the consortium proposed a new civil restraining order process could allow citizens to petition the court for the temporary removal of firearms from friends or family members who are considered at that time to be dangerous, according to the report.

Other high-risk populations targeted by the consortium's recommendations include people with histories of substance abuse and domestic violence.  

Another recommendation temporary bars anyone convicted of a violent misdemeanor; a temporary domestic violence restraining order placed on them; or multiple DUI, DWI or controlled substance convictions in the past five years from purchasing or possessing firearms. 

“We are looking not just at mental illness, but at elevated risk,” Horwitz said. “We also need to look at meaningful prohibitions for people who are at increased risk for other reasons.”
So who gets to decide the people at an "elevated risk"?  You guessed it - the gun ban lobby.  VSSA will be paying special attention to mental health bills. It will be a busy session again this year.

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