Firearm Policy Panel Presents Recommendations at UVa

Charlottesville, VA - The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy presented its report called Guns, Public Health, and Mental Illness at the University of Virginia Monday.

Members of the panel hosted this public forum to reveal the three recommendations they'll make to lawmakers.

Those recommendations are:

1. Strengthening state law to temporarily prohibit someone who was involuntarily hospitalized, from purchasing or possessing a gun, if the person was deemed a danger to himself of others.

2. Restricting the purchase or possession of a firearm by individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors, who have a protective orders against them, two or more DUI convictions in five years, or two or more drug related misdemeanors.

3. Developing a mechanism authorizing law enforcement officers to remove firearms when they identify someone who is a threat to himself or others.

Lt. Governor- elect Ralph Northam was the keynote speaker. Northam expects there to be discussion in the General Assembly in light of the recent tragedy involving the son of Senator Creigh Deeds.

"Sometimes, unfortunately, the General Assembly and legislators tend to be more reactionary than they are visionary and so when tragic events like this happen, it gets peoples' attention," said Northam.

Lori Haas helped develop the policy recommendations. Her daughter survived the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.

"We constantly, repeatedly, say how and why does this mass tragedy happen? How and why do we have 30,000 Americans killed by guns every year? Well, we're not answering the question," said Haas.

The consortium held a two-day conference in March, well before the incident involving the Deeds family.