Families worried about mentally unstable loved ones hurting themselves or others would be able to seek a court order to temporarily take firearms away under a bill introduced Thursday in the New Jersey Senate.
"Families or a close friend are those who know best if someone has reached that point where they are mentally ill and violently prone," said Sen. Richard Codey (D., Essex), who introduced the bill.
The proposal for a "gun violence restraining order" comes after six people were killed last month in California by Elliot Rodger, 22, who then fatally shot himself. Authorities reportedly alerted to potential danger by Rodger's mother and therapist had visited him within a month before the shootings but found no cause to act, according to news reports.
"You can look at our ongoing history over the last 10 years - Aurora, Columbine, more recently in California," Codey said. "Clearly, these people were severely mentally ill, needed help, and should not have had guns in their possession."
The restraining order would temporarily ban the person it's directed at from obtaining or possessing firearms. Once notified of a potential danger, authorities would be required to petition a judge for the restraining order, which would be reevaluated after a designated amount of time.