Delaware Public Media

Gov. Carney signs new mental health gun safety legislation

Jun 27, 2018

Gov. John Carney (D) signed a bill Wednesday allowing police officers to remove firearms from someone in a mental health crisis.

Under the new law, courts can issue emergency protection orders to family members who can show their loved one is a danger to themselves or others.

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn (D) said similar laws in other states have proven effective in reducing suicides and mass shootings.

“So it’s going to save lives and it’s going to do it by the really common sense approach of having people who are closest to the ground, people who are family members, who know the people involved being able to able to approach law enforcement,” he said.

The bill Carney just signed is similar to another piece of legislation enacted this year. It requires mental health providers to report patients who are suicidal or homicidal to law enforcement.

Both laws have due process protections that include court hearings and allowing gun owners to get their weapons back under certain conditions.