A new California gun seizure law is set to take effect on New Year’s Day, allowing officials to confiscate and seize an individual’s firearms for a 21-day “holding period” if a petitioned judge determines there is a potential imminent threat of violence. Supporters say the law provides invaluable time for a person to “cool off” while they are evaluated for mental stability. Those in opposition see it as a loss of Second Amendment rights.
Reports Fox News on Dec. 29: “Proposed in the wake of a deadly May 2014 shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger, the bill provides family members with a means of having an emergency ‘gun violence restraining order’ imposed against a loved one if they can convince a judge that allowing that person to possess a firearm ‘poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.’”
On May, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree near the University of California campus, using a knife to kill three men in his apartment with a knife, as well as two females at a nearby sorority house and a sixth male student victim inside of a deli. Rodger also injured thirteen others as he drove around Isla Vista and randomly shot at pedestrians from his car.
Prior to the killings, Rodger, bullied as a teen and under the care of various therapists for most of his life, uploaded YouTube videos (since removed) and sent a “manifesto” to dozens of family members and friends, outlining a “desire to punish women for rejecting him and also a desire to punish sexually active men for living a better life than him,” as well as his “frustrations over not being able to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women, his contempt for racial minorities and interracial couples.”
Rodger specifically discussed plans to go on a shooting rampage.
The law, known as Assembly Bill 1014 – Gun Violence Restraining Orders, was passed by Gov. Jerry Brown in the fall. Here is the full text of the bill.
The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups voiced opposition to the ruling at the time. “Our concern is not so much what they intended to do; our concern is with the method they put in place to address people with mental or emotional issues,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”
Elliot Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, released a statement when the bill was passed: “If [this law] had been in place on May 23, things could have been very different. California, today, is a safer state because of this legislation. Let’s hope other states follow.”
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Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore commented on the new law: “The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will. It allows further examination of the person’s mental state. It’s a short duration and it allows for due process. It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state,” Moore said.
What are your thoughts on the California gun seizure law?