October 20, 2016 News

The Wahkiakum County Eagle Looks at Initiative 1491

Rick Nelson, publisher of the Wahkiakum County Eagle, writes on Initiative 1491:

Family members are often the first people to notice signs that someone is considering suicide or who is thinking about perpetrating a mass shooting. Family members may try to get the individual into counseling, but if guns are available, they can do little under current laws to keep the individuals from using them.

The initiative would allow family members and/or law enforcement to petition a judge for a protection order requiring the individuals to surrender their guns. Petitioners must demonstrate that there is a serious threat of violence. Both sides can present evidence. Besides limiting individuals’ access to firearms, the judge can also refer them to counseling to ensure they get the help they need. The orders can be renewed annually.

The initiative would save lives. Proponents say 70 percent of firearm-related deaths in the state are suicides, and this initiative would give family members and law enforcement the tools to remove access to firearms and to get people in crisis the access to treatment they need.

Read the full piece here.