Monday, April 8, 2013

Guns and restraining orders don’t mix, says House bill that advances in Senate

Image courtesy of Boaz Yiftach/
Two House bills that tighten critical areas of firearms regulation quietly moved another step closer to final Legislative approval this week when they cleared a Senate committee.

House Bill 1840 would prohibit possession of a gun by anyone subject to certain restraining orders, no-contact orders or protection orders if a judge finds that the subject of the order poses a threat to an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner. Those who fall under the finding and already have guns would be required to surrender them to police.

The Senate committee added the requirement for both an order and a court finding of a threat to the version of the bill that earlier passed the House 61-37. The House-passed version would trigger the gun prohibition in the case of either an order or a finding of a threat.

A recent New York Times article looked at how states nationwide deal with gun rights and restraining orders.

If the amended bill is approved by the full Senate, it would return to the House, which could either accept the Senate change or negotiate a version acceptable to both chambers.

The Senate committee also approved House Bill 1612 which sets up a statewide data base to log felony firearms offenders. The data base is designed to aid law-enforcement officers and would not be available for public viewing. It earlier passed the House 85-10.