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Survivor of mass shooting says Kentuckians can help stop gun massacres

Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention is a bill that would temporarily take away a person’s firearms if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others by law e
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:46 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Whitney Austin survived being shot 12 times during a 2018 mass shooting in Cincinnati, and news from Texas about the country’s most recent school shooting shattered her.

“I can tell you about how awful it was for me, but I was 37,” Austin said. “We will never ever be able to understand how awful it would be for little babies. … I just kind of sat in a squat by myself and just started crying.”

Many shared her tears and frustration.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-KY) thinks the country is in an endless cycle of complacency.

“I am tired of saying there is nothing we can do when we are doing nothing,” McGarvey said.

According to McGarvey and Austin, something can be done, and they’ve been working on a bill since Austin was shot four years ago. It’s referred to as Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention or CARR. The bill would temporarily take away a person’s firearms if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others by law enforcement.

The process involves a prompt hearing and a judge who makes the final decision, with the gun owner having the option of having legal representation. The weapon might be taken away for a few days, weeks, months, or even a year.

As part of the deal, the law would also include the person undergoing mental health treatment.

The plan has bipartisan support, but it has been stalled while adjustments to suit both parties are made, but McGarvey thinks that the time for talk is over.

“We must act and we must act now so that more parents don’t have to go through the grief and horror of not being able to pick their kids up from school,” McGarvey said.

Austin said she will push for the legislation to be passed at the next open session.

“I encourage everyone to have hope, but if you don’t, nothing will ever happen,” Austin said.

For more information about the bill and Austin’s organization, click here.

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