A new California law (AB 1014) is set to take effect on January 1, 2016. Specifically, it will allow concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) in situations where an individual is deemed to either “be a threat” or have the “potential for threatening behavior.” After the petition is submitted, a judge will be empowered to make the call, i.e. if there are sufficient enough reasons to warrant a person’s gun and ammo to be taken away from them and the judge deems the person a threat, it will be.
It’s a perfectly logical law, actually. It’s about time a legal mechanism was put in place to allow for the seizure of guns in cases where it makes sense to do so. The rest of the country needs to follow California’s lead – it could prevent another mass shooting or suicide.
Los Angeles Police Assistant Chief Michael Moore told Southern California Public Radio:
“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.”
Current law in the state already prevents dangerous people from possessing firearms, including domestic abusers and individuals committed to mental health facilities. This new law just expands who is eligible to have their gun taken away.
Yes, this means a member of the police will show up to a person’s house and forcibly take their gun away. Right-wingers worst fears have finally come true. Now, before they get their panties all up in a wad and cry “unconstitutional,” this isn’t meant to be permanent. It’s only meant to be a restraining order for a set amount of time, typically 21 days, or even longer if a person is deemed unfit to have the weapon (by a judge).
And, yes, this new law is constitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that the Second Amendment is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Many laws are permissible under the Second Amendment that prohibit weapons, including those by felons and the mentally ill – there’s a long track record for this.
This law makes sense once you read it. It’s a new outlet for allowing a family member to take action if they feel real harm is imminent to others or even the person owning the weapon – it’s not meant to be a vehicle that only the government can use. Although, they will be able to do so as well.
AB 1014 was first proposed after the shooting that took place in Isla Vista in May 2014. The shooter, in that case, had given all the right signs of being a threat, but no legal mechanism was available for anyone to take action. AB 1014 will finally change that.
Featured image via blogs.sacbee