HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker says he’ll introduce legislation to help families and prosecutors prevent suicides and gun violence.
State Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) said his proposal would allow courts to issue an Extreme Risk Protective Order when there is clear and convincing evidence that someone with mental health issues poses a threat to themselves or others.
The protective order would temporarily prohibit the person from possessing firearms and ammunition.
“It is clear that we must do more to address the issues arising from those with mental health issues who pose a threat to themselves or others,” Stephens said in a statement. “We must create a way for family members or law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit certain individuals from possessing firearms or ammunition, and to relinquish any firearms or ammunition they may currently have, to prevent them from doing harm.”
Courts could immediately issue a temporary protective order but would have to conduct a full hearing where the person could offer evidence and testimony before a final order is issued.
Stephens said his approach has been embraced by groups on both sides of the gun issue.
He said his bill would also impose criminal penalties on anyone who files a petition for protection that contains false statements.