In the wake of the Covenant School shooting, Lee called for lawmakers to pass an “order of protection law” that would allow law enforcement to ask a court permission to temporarily take someone’s guns away if they show that they are a harm to themselves or others. The normal legislative session ended in April with any agreement.
Lawmakers are able to file bills ahead of the special session that are within guidelines of the proclamation. The special session will begin on Aug. 21 and will have a specific focus.
“Only legislation related to those specific topics can be brought,” Representative Jason Zachary (R-District 14) said. “It’s a very narrow call, very specific at what can be brought. Only legislation related to those points can be called.”
Zachary filed two bills ahead of the special session. One of those bills is related to juvenile mental health information.
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“If the juvenile has been adjudicated, mentally defective or under conservatorship or has been voluntary committed some of the things that as an adult would keep you from possessing a weapon or buying a weapon,” Zachary said. “Right now, the way the system is there is a firewall there and when a juvenile turns 18 their record is basically cleared and they can buy a weapon.”
This bill would allow that information to be recorded when someone becomes an adult.
“Our system that we do our background checks through for weapons, it would allow that information to be pushed forward, so that way if a juvenile who has a mental heath issue, mental illness, when they turn 18 they would not be able to buy a weapon,” Zachary said.
The second bill Zachary filed is referred to as duty to report.
“The patient makes a specific threat of violence the health care practitioner is required to report that,” Zachary said. “The concern has been there is not a requirement in there for general reporting.”
The bills looks to require health care professionals to report general threats as well. Zachary estimates the special session will last around one week.