LETTER: Vote yes on extreme-risk protection order initiative

The common-sense measure has been endorsed by those from all walks of life.

I’m writing to urge you to vote yes on Initiative I-1491: extreme-risk protection orders.

If it passes, this initiative will be a powerful tool for Washington families who have reason to believe a loved one is at risk for committing suicide or an act of violence.

The family will be able to petition the court for a hearing, and if the judge finds sufficient evidence, the individual’s access to firearms can be suspended for up to one year.

This proposal was originally brought before the Legislature, which sadly failed to act on it.

So this summer, I joined volunteers across the state in spending many hours collecting signatures to place I-1491 on the ballot.

At farmers markets, First Fridays and other events, I discussed extreme-risk protection orders with dozens of Clallam County residents.

Once they understood the reasonable, practical elements of this proposed law, most people eagerly signed the petition.

Signers came from all walks of life, including military service members and retirees, current and retired law enforcement officers, and yes, even members of the National Rifle Association.

Skeptics were glad to learn that filing a false petition or submitting false evidence would carry criminal penalties, that the subject would be notified if a hearing is to take place and the rules of evidence would apply.

This is a sensible law that would help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

Please vote yes on I-1491.

Paula Barnes,