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"Red flag" gun bill passes house

"Red flag" gun bill passes house

A new bill would allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns from people reported as a threat by family or friends. The bill has just passed the House and is now on its way to the senate.

The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act says if someone is giving off certain "red flags" a family member can request a judge temporarily take that person's guns away. Red flags could include concerning social media posts or talk of self-harm.

“Every time we've had a serious shooting, a mass shooting, or you talk to someone after a suicide, they're like I saw it and I didn't do anything with it,” bill sponsor Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison said.

If a judge agrees, law enforcement would be given a warrant to take that person's guns immediately.

The accused person has an opportunity to defend themselves before the judge, but, some gun advocates said that isn't enough.

"Anybody could come along and say, I don't like you, I don't like what you're doing, you have guns, I want you to stop,” gun owner Doug Schmidgall said. “And then they'll go file a complaint, a restraining order. Now I've got to go pay the fines and the fees and the legal stuff to get my guns back, when I didn't do anything wrong.”

Schmidgall said he thinks if someone seems to be a threat, law enforcement can address it without this bill.

"They're not just going to step if they know that you're a threat and let you go onto shoot somebody," Schmidgall said.

Along with temporarily confiscating a person’s guns, this bill would also terminate their FOID card for the time being.

"The goal of this bill is to get you the help you need so that you continue to have a long and happy life,” Rep. Willis said. “We don't want to be punitive, we want to be proactive."

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