FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — After surviving a shooting in 2018, Whitney Austin of Louisville is pushing Kentucky lawmakers to make a change in 2024.
Whitney Austin is the executive director and co-founder of the Whitney/Strong Foundation. At Friday’s joint legislative interim meeting of the judiciary committees, she shared her testimony of the shooting at the Fifth Third Bank headquarters in Cincinnati, where she was shot 12 times. She lived to tell the tale and is calling on lawmakers to make a change.
“Now I just want you to take one minute, a second, to think about those you love most and think about that trauma being inflicted upon them. Think about your innocent spouse, your parent, your friend, or God forbid, your child,” Austin said.
Austin is backing a proposal by Senator Whitney Westerfield that would give family and friends a way to temporarily remove a gun from someone they thought to be in a mental health crisis. The bill would focus on crisis aversion and rights retention, also called CARR.
“There are a number of other states around the country that have done something similar to this, but I tried to make it different. I tried as a Second Amendment supporter, as a gun owner, and former NRA member. I wanted to make sure that it was constitutionally sound,” Westerfield said.
While everyone agrees that the safety of citizens is the top priority, the decision isn’t so cut and dry, with some lawmakers like Representative Savannah Maddox saying this proposal would be a violation of constitutional rights.
“The value that I know we all share, everyone who is gathered here today, is a sincere desire to keep Kentuckians out of harm’s way. However, we strongly differ on the premise, I feel like. Gun control is not, and has never been, the answer. Whether you call it a red flag, an ERPO, whether you call it CARR or any other euphemism, you’re still talking about a proposal that, at a bare minimum, has the potential to violate at least three constitutional rights,” Maddox said.