Isla Vista shooting a reminder that people with high risk of violence shouldn’t have access to guns

Washington, DC—The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has been calling for people who are at heightened risk of harming themselves or others because of various factors contributing to an increased risk of violent behavior be temporarily prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms. A consortium of mental health and public health professionals convened by the organization’s partner organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, issued reports late last year to state and federal policy makers making the case for strengthening gun purchase and possession laws to restrict potentially dangerous individuals from having guns.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, issued the following statement today in response to Friday evening’s tragedy in Isla Vista, Calif., in which a gunman previously identified to authorities as potentially dangerous killed six and wounded 13 via a combination of stabbing and gun shots:

Neither current federal nor state policies adequately reduce access to firearms by individuals who are at an elevated risk of violence, whether due to mental illness, a history of violent crime, perpetration of domestic violence, or alcohol or drug abuse. Individuals at high risk of committing gun violence should be disqualified from purchasing and possessing firearms.

Families in crisis need tools. A gun violence restraining order could help.

Such a practice would allow people to petition the court to request that guns be temporarily removed from a family member or intimate partner who poses a credible risk of harm to self or others. Respondents to an order issued through such a process would be prohibited from buying guns and required to relinquish all firearms in their possession for the duration of the order.

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is the 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The organization has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury. The Ed Fund can be found on Twitter.