• New bill hopes to minimize gun violence by allowing family members to take guns from relatives

    By: Brittney Verner , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    There is a new push to give families the ability to take guns away from their own relatives.
     
    The plan would allow families to act if they think relatives could harm themselves or others.
     
    Gun control remains a hot topic on the heels of several mass shootings. It's something mental health professionals like Dr. Lynn Wadelaton, who’s a clinical psychologist said needs to be addressed.
     
    “We have an epidemic, this is happening way too often, and we need to address it from every angle we can,” Waldenton said.
     
    Thursday democratic lawmakers filed a bill that would let family members go before a judge to ask that guns be taken away temporarily from people they think are a threat to themselves or others.
     
    A similar law was passed last year after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shooting.

    Its known as the risk protection order. That order can only be filed by law enforcement, but this new law would include family members as well.
     
    “We already do something very similar to that in more than 18 states because we’re trying to protect the community and the individuals,” Waldenton said.
     
    It’s something even some gun supporters like Richard weighed in on.
     
    “Generally, I’m against gun control, I just think people get to the point sometimes when they really shouldn’t have guns, and I think families would know,” Richard said.
     
    State senators like Lori Berman, who are backing the bill, said this is why they believe regulations are essential.

    “If we can get guns out of the hands of some of those people, we can start to lower gun violence in this country,” Berman said.

    Waldenton agrees.

    “Why wouldn’t we confiscate or limit the amount or have some kind of checks and balances to make sure that we’re all safe,” Waldenton said.
     
    The bill would also require gun owners to lock up their guns inside their homes if someone else in the home is banned from owning or possessing a gun. 

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