By Mark Cavitt, MediaNews Group (The Oakland Press)
Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods, has reintroduced 'red flag' legislation that seeks to temporarily take firearms away from those that pose a risk to themselves or others.
Under House Bill 4283, called the "Extreme Risk Protection Order Act", immediate family members or a law enforcement officer would be able to petition a judge for a protection order by showing evidence that an individual shows signs of potential harm to themselves or others. If the protection order is granted, police would seize the weapons for one year, and a hearing would be held. The bill would also prohibit those individuals from buying or possessing a gun, who are not otherwise restricted from doing so, for one year.
A bill with the exact same language, Senate Bill 156, was introduced by Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, on Thursday. Both legislators said the bills address public protection from gun violence and are modeled after similar legislation in 11 other states.
In addition, Wittenberg, along with Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, worked alongside Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. He recommended that penalties for presenting false evidence would be treated the same as filing a false police report.
The longtime county sheriff has said that the vast number of mass shooters have demonstrated warning signs before committing acts of violence. “Given this fact, it makes sense to pass legislation to intervene for those who are a danger to themselves and others,” said Bouchard in April 2018. “I urge the legislature to act on a policy which ensures a due process for those dealing with mental health issues as well as a continuum of treatment options.”