Gun generic

(Source: Pixabay) 

State lawmakers introduce a new bill that allows law enforcement to remove guns before a crisis occurs.

It’s called the red flag law.

The legislation allows law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from people at risk of harming themselves or others.

"I think one of the things that has to be looked at it in this is that we have had an increase in over the course of the decaded in gun violence in our country, and it's not because of the increase in the number of our guns. It's because something has changed in our society," said Victor Fitz.

And any proposed changes usually come with concerns from gun owners about their rights.

"A very important constitutional right which is the second amendment, the right for someone to posess arms, that's in contrast to certainly concerns about mentally ill individuals," Fitz said.

Mental illness seems to be a key word in discussions about the proposed Red Flag law.

At the Riverwood Center in Benton Harbor, professionals assist with behavioral health issues every day.

"Everytime a violent crime is committed, the first thing people want to say is that it's a mental health issue, and that is not necessarily true," said Cathy Wenger.

Wenger's day to day work can consist of calls from the hospitals and other agencies seeking emergency services from Riverwood. As she evaluates some individuals, she's sometimes told about gun ownership.

“When we are completing emergency services screenings on customers, we are told by the family members that a person has made threats or may have a gun in the house,” Wenger said.

She says bill or not, there's already a process for handling these high risk situations.

“If the person is deemed to be a danger to self or others, there are steps we can take through the court system to make sure that person and their firearms are separated," Wenger said.

In a tweet from the Michigan State Democrats, one senator says "Saving lives is the purpose of this legislation."

She says if we work together to pass this common-sense legislation, we can reduce many factors that contribute to gun-related suicides.

Copyright 2019 CBS. All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.