PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council members are continuing to take legislative measures to curb the city’s gun violence. Council is starting with identifying people who have guns who may be dangerous.
Escalating gun violence in Philadelphia has police and city officials rattled. Council members are continuing to add legislation that aims to reduce gun violence in the city.
On Thursday, they took another step in trying to get guns out of the hands of people who pose an imminent threat.
“Put them guns down,” Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. said, not mincing words when it comes to how he feels about the rising crime rates.
Jones and fellow Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson have proposed legislation they hope will add a layer of protection for Philadelphians.
“When someone convinces you that they mean harm, we should believe them,” Jones said.
The Gun Violence Protection Order will establish a court process, by which firearms can be temporarily removed from a person who poses an imminent threat of harm to themselves or the public.
“This is an order that would say, if we’re in a public building and someone comes in and says, ‘I’m coming back to shoot you all,’ we should take a look at that, seek a judge’s order and remove any firearms from his house,” Jones said.
Family members, school officials, law enforcement officers and even prosecutors will be allowed to seek a gun protection order. They would need evidence that the person has a history of violence, has made a recent threat, or has previous protection orders against them.
“Then let them go through a hearing to warrant them getting them back to prevent catastrophe before it happens,” Jones said.
A court hearing would have to be held within five days of the order to decide if the person’s gun should be confiscated by police for a specific amount of time.
Council members believe it’s another step in a series of gun violence crackdowns.
“We can’t live in a city where are young people are being subjected to being shot and murdered while they’re going to and from the store, to and from school. We need to do more, to be quite frank with you,” Johnson said.
The Gun Violence Protection Order was voted on today without opposition. Meantime, it would still have to coincide with state firearm laws.