Mental health, violence dominate local and state political debate in Kentucky – WAVE 3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A proposed law that would create a legal framework for temporarily taking firearms away from someone who is determined to be in crisis and potentially dangerous is expected to be reintroduced in the Kentucky legislature soon.
”Whether it’s self-harm or harming others, but we have nothing,” activist Whitney Austin, executive director of the Whitney/Strong Foundation said. “We have no legal path in the state of Kentucky to be able to temporarily transfer that firearm away from the gun owner and get them the help that they need so that they can get better.”
Austin was shot 12 times during a mass shooting at a bank in Cincinnati in 2018. She survived to found Whitney/Strong, a foundation that advocates for gun-control legislation, one of which is the passage of the Crisis Aversion and Right Retention Act, or CARR Bill. Supporters argue that it would allow the courts to temporarily confiscate someone’s firearms during a crisis.
A goal of Austin’s proposal is to prevent acts of violence such as the attempted murder of mayoral candidate Craig Greenburg.
”We do know that this was a gun owner in crisis and that he needed help,” Austin said. “And that there was nothing, there was nothing anyone could do because we don’t have legislation like CARR.”
Austin said lobbying for the CARR bill is ongoing.
In the meantime, mental health and violence have taken the lead in the race for Louisville mayor. Greenberg, in an interview with CNN on Tuesday morning, called for unity on the issue.
”Bring us together to work on violence intervention programs, to work on assessing the root causes of crime,” Greenberg said, “and providing mental health treatment to those who need it.”
Focusing on the need for more mental health treatment appears to have bipartisan support.
Democratic candidate Tim Findley Jr., an acquaintance of alleged shooter Quintez Brown, said the assassination attempt on Greenberg’s life brought to the forefront the issue of mental health and its links to violence.
”I think the mental health conversation now has to be a part of all of our minds,” Findley said. “Especially those of us who are running for this office.”
“As we look at the problem with different people with a mental capacity that is limited, there is over 200 different forms of this,” Republican candidate and Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf said. “And it can be anywhere from someone being violent to somebody that is not.”
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