Disarming Decision - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Disarming Decision

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A new bill is stirring up controversy and has some Texoman's up in arms. House Bill 1189 will allow law enforcement to immediately seize any firearm, in the possession of a person in a mental health crisis.

"I'm curious by what they exactly mean by mental. And who determines that, is it police on the scene? Does it have to go before a judge? I mean that is a good question," said one man at the park.

The Bill also outlines a procedure for the person to get their gun back, and the circumstances that would prevent them from being able to do so.

"It's probably drastic for some other people that really love guns and all of that stuff. But, I think they're really doing it just to help us," one woman said, while enjoying the afternoon with her family.

"I would like more protection. I don't want just anyone having a gun you know, that's just kind of scary," said the man.

Texas State Representative James Frank says the bill is important because, it makes state law consistent with federal law, as to how a person who's gun has been removed, gets it back.

"This doesn't give the state any more authority to take the gun away. This simply directs when the gun can be given back. And essentially you'd have to have doctor's clearance or the medical communities clearance to get that gun back," said Representative Frank.

The general feeling of some Texoman's about the mental health crisis was, safety first. If law enforcement determines a person with a gun to be unstable, it's best to take it away and give them time to get themselves together.

"You know, if they truly find someone who is not meeting the criteria of a sane person, then I think it's a good thing," said the man.

"I think in a way it would be more comfortable for everybody," said the woman.

Texas legislators feel that this is not an infringement on Texan's right to bear arms because, the bill only applies to firearms found in a person's possession, at the time they were taken into custody.

The Bill passed in the State House 145-1. And, it passed unanimously in the State Senate with a vote of 28-0. The measure will now head to Governor Rick Perry's desk.

Jenyne Donaldson, Newschannel Six.

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