The Utah Legislature is considering enacting a new type of “extreme risk” protective court order that would allow police to remove guns and ammunition from individuals who are allegedly violent or unstable.
Proponents of the new legislation believe it will provide an effective legal avenue to remove firearms from dangerous individuals. Many critics of the new legislation point out due process concerns and the potential to violate the Second Amendment provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
If you were served with an extreme risk protective order, then you should know that the protective order, issued by a district court judge, permits local law enforcement officers to remove firearms from a person who "has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct."
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HB483 was sponsored by Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton. The new legislation would allow a family member who has lived with an individual at least six months to seek the protective order. The legislation defines family as parent, sibling, spouse or child.
After conducting a hearing in district court, a judge would decide “whether grounds for an extreme risk protective order exist.” The court order would prohibit the person from "owning, purchasing, possessing, receiving or having in his or her custody or control … a firearm or ammunition." The bill also creates a process for the return of the firearms.
HB483 provides that if a court determines "by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a serious risk or harm to him or herself or others the court shall issue an ex parte extreme risk protective order" and set a hearing date within 20 days.
During the hearing, the court can consider as evidence an increased risk for violent conduct based on any of the following factors:
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