WCAAP Endorses I-1491

WCAAP Endorses Initiative 1491: Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Seattle, WA – May 31, 2016 –The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP) Board of Trustees voted to endorse Initiative 1491. The WCAAP joins health care entities, faith groups, family advocates, law enforcement and community organizations in a broad coalition working for extreme risk protection orders to temporarily prevent access to firearms to those deemed by the court to pose a risk to themselves or others.

“A calling to keep children safe and healthy is at the heart of what we do in pediatrics,” says Dr. Julian Ayer, a pediatrician in Tacoma and member of the WCAAP Board of Trustees. “We know that family members are often the first to see warning signs, but they can be powerless to keep weapons out of the hands of their loved ones, even if they know that they pose a threat.”

Current gaps in state law make it possible for people who are at high risk of violent behavior or suffering from a mental illness that makes them a threat to themselves or others to possess firearms. Extreme risk protection orders would address those gaps in the law by allowing a court to temporarily restrict those individuals for a discrete period of time, up to one year. The person subject to the order would be required to surrender all weapons and would be prohibited from purchase, sale or possession of a weapon for the duration of the order. The initiative would give law enforcement and family members the ability to petition the court if they feel an extreme risk protection order is necessary.

You can learn more about I-1491 at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s website.