"Extreme Risk Order of Protection" bill filed in Missouri Senate

Published: Jan. 24, 2019 at 5:17 PM CST
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"We're protecting Joe from hurting himself or taking his own life," said Sen. Jill Schupp, a St. Louis Democrat.

If passed, Senate Bill 42 - or the Extreme Risk Order of Protection Bill - would allow a judge to determine whether or not you - a gun owner - is a threat to yourself or others.

If a relative or a member of your household felt you were in a bad place and could hurt yourself or someone else with a gun, that person could go to court to file an Extreme Risk Order of Protection.

Then, both parties have to go in front of a judge within 14 days for the court to determine whether or not that is the case.

If it is, police could take your guns away for a year.

"Nothing is going to happen until everyone gets their day in court to make a good decision about whether that person is safe having a gun in his or her possession," Schupp said.

Aside from close family or people you live with, police could also file that extreme risk order of protection.

"I do have serious concerns that that law would be abused," said Springfield Republican, Senator Eric Burlison.

Burlison says while lawmakers need to look at how the courts could keep guns out of the hands of people who have mental illness or who are a threat to themselves or others, he feels the people who would be allowed to file an extreme risk order of protection under this law are the ones who hold the most grudges.

"The worst fights, and the worst disputes are within family," Burlison said. "We want to make sure that people aren't just losing their rights simply because they've got somebody who's out to get them and doesn't like what they think and who they are."

If a judge orders the temporary removal of your guns for a year, you would be able to petition the courts during that time to prove you're not a threat and get your guns back.

Also, the person who filed that extreme risk order could be found in contempt of court if their report was false.

"This is a bill not about taking people's guns away," Schupp said. "This is a bill saying we care enough about this person that we don't want this person taking irrevocable action."

This bill has been sent to committee, and we will follow it as it works through the legislative process.