Landmark California gun seizure law takes effect 1 January but amid concerns

from the Guardian

A California gun statute going into effect on 1 January gives the police or family members the option to petition the courts to seize the guns and ammunition of someone they think poses a threat, the first law of its kind in the country.

But the “gun violence restraining order” law, passed last year, has raised concerns from lawmakers and pro-gun groups about civil liberties and questions about how effective it will really be.

Modeled after firearms prohibitions in domestic violence restraining orders, the statute allows for law enforcement or “immediate family members” to ask a judge for a restraining order if they feel that someone is a danger to themselves or others. The order would also bar the person from purchasing a firearm by placing them on the state’s do-not-buy list.

Former California assemblywoman Nancy Skinner introduced the bill, AB 1014, in 2014, just two days after a 22-year-old man, Elliot Rodger, went on a murderous rampage in Isla Vista, California, killing six people and then himself.

[read more here]

3 Responses

  1. I’ve gotta say, on the surface this particular legislation does not look like a bad thing at all. I’m not so sure about some of the events that may have been used as a pretext, but the apparent intent and process for a weapons restraining order for people who pose a clear threat makes sense to me, provided the due process is really there.

    • It does seem reasonable. So much so, I bet there is already some kind of mechanism in place to remove weapons from someone if their family goes to a judge and says the guy is off his meds and talking to little underpants gnomes in his bedroom and they are telling him to do bad things to high school football teams. I get that. But this is different. It includes a mechanism to have cops go to a “judge” and make the same determination. Based on what criteria? That’s the question. The devil is in the details with something like this. You notice, that reasonable article doesn’t mention a thing about that. Makes me wonder. What behavior is such that it requires the removal of a constitutional right because something MIGHT happen in the future? And who tells the cops there is something that needs to be done to disarm someone? If someone is running around naked shooting people, yeah, he shouldn’t have guns. But who determines him MIGHT end up naked shooting people? Right now, mental health professionals can already do that if they feel someone under their care is a danger to himself and the community. But now cops go to that “judge” and get them to sign off on their request and suddenly, someone loses that right? I don’t buy that. Maybe because I feel it is intentionally vague and seems to be written for abuse. Yes, someone can petition in 21 days (if scheduling allows it) to be heard in court, but again, what are they defending themselves against? Something they wrote? Something they said in a chat online? A Tweet? A website? Videos of them hopping up and down slinging poo against the wall? Maybe they say they shouldn’t have a gun because someone made a Google Plus webpage in their name with praises of Hitler all over it. Is that enough? A supposed communication between you and “ISIS” generously provided by Homeland Security? And what if you can’t afford a lawyer? It’s just WAY too vague for me and I think there are already measures in place to keep real psychos from owning rocket launchers (unless they enlist)

      • Yeah, everything you re saying makes sense. It makes me wonder what the point of the Guardian even writing an article about it actually is. Perhaps calling it “Landmark …” is just setting precedent for more legislation.

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