Newtown, Conn. – Earlier today, Kentucky state lawmakers on the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary held a powerful hearing to consider legislation allowing for life-saving Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention (CARR) orders to be implemented in the state for the first time.
CARR orders allow law enforcement to effectively intervene when someone is going through a crisis and because of access to firearms is capable of causing harm to themselves or others. Law enforcement can temporarily remove the person’s firearms while the person seeks help. When the person gets better, the court cancels the order, the firearms are returned, and tragedy is averted.
The process honors Kentuckians’ culture of firearm ownership and an individual’s constitutional right to own firearms, while keeping communities safe during a vulnerable person’s moment of crisis.
Speakers at the hearing recounted traumatic experiences of violence and suicide involving firearms, and Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield (R-Fruit Hill) presented on how his proposed legislation preserves Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
“Today’s hearing was a big step in the right direction for Kentucky,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “Lawmakers heard compelling testimony of the benefits of CARR orders. Now it’s up to them to move the legislation along in the name of both public safety and Second Amendment rights.”
Research shows that 80% of people who die by suicide or commit mass shootings make their intentions known to family members, friends, or on social media. CARR orders are a proven method for family members or law enforcement who are made aware of such intentions to remove the person’s means of hurting themselves or others.
Investigation into the shooter who killed five of his co-workers at the Old National Bank in Downtown Louisville in April revealed that the killer made several warning signs apparent that he wished to harm others or himself. Yet, he was still able to purchase a semi-automatic firearm days before carrying out the shooting.
“At Sandy Hook Promise, we encourage people to watch for warning signs of violence in their friends and family, but without common-sense gun-violence protection laws such as CARR, it can be difficult to properly intervene,” Barden said.
M. Aurora Vasquez, Esq. Sandy Hook Promise’s Vice President of State Policy & Engagement, added:
“Today’s hearing was an important milestone for gun violence prevention in Kentucky,” Vasquez said. “We at Sandy Hook Promise are encouraged by lawmakers’ willingness to consider this sensible intervention strategy and are hopeful that Kentucky can avoid tragedies in the future by implementing CARR orders.”
The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Ali Tadayon | [email protected] | 203-304-9780 ext. 279