New Senate Bill Aims to Temporarily Take Guns from People Considered “Extreme Risk”

Arkansas News

(3/26/19) Earlier this month, Courtney Willie tried to break up with 22-year-old Dekota Harvey.

I didn’t want the abuse, Willie said. The mental instability of him. And I didn’t want him continuing the abuse of my friends as well.

Harvey shot Willie in the leg and shot and killed Willie’s new girlfriend, 20-year-old Elizabeth Alexis Dawson. Willie said she wasn’t surprised by Harvey’s actions because he’d had suicidal thoughts and access to guns. The new bill would aim to prevent these incidents.

They’re laws that when done properly, balance a gun owners rights with the need to protect people and the public, said bill sponsor, Democratic senator of District 4, Greg Leding.

This red flag or extreme risk law would give law enforcement the power to restrict gun access from people who are in extreme distress and talk about hurting themselves or others. Police would ask a judge before temporarily taking the firearm.

Republican senator for District 1, Bart Hester said the bill probably won’t make it far stating, A majority of the members of the Senate judiciary are common sense Second Amendment supporters and do not support bills that infringe those rights.

If a judge does decide the restriction needs to stay in place, it can only be in place for up to a year, Senator Leding said. So this is no type of permanent ban on anybody’s right to own a firearm.

This bill would give people the chance to plead their case 72 hours after the gun is taken. That is when a judge would decide if they can get it back. 

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