California Gun Law Lets Police Confiscate Legally-Owned Weapons
A California law allows police to seize private, legally-owned weapons for as long as three weeks without charges and without allowing the citizen to contest the seizure.
Believe It Or Not?
The law, known as AB1014, was passed in response to last year’s Isla Vista shooting where teenager Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree near the University of California campus in Santa Barbara, killing six people before turning his gun on himself.
The one crucial fact that is often omitted is that PRIOR TO THE SHOOTING, Rodger’s parents had reported him to the police. They had concerns about his mental health and social media posts they considered bizarre.
According to The Daily Caller, the police showed up, visited with Roger and left after deciding that he wasn’t a criminal risk. Unfortunately they didn’t search his apartment, where he was stockpiling weapons and ammunition later used in the shooting.
The law is intended to stop a similar situation from occurring. According to the law a judge may now grant a restraining order giving the police the right to seize a person’s guns based solely on accounts from family members or police who suspect that the person poses an imminent danger. The restraining order can be granted without the person knowing it exists or being allowed time to contest it.
When granting such a restraining order a judge may take into consideration:
…….• Threats of violence
…….• Prior felony arrests (even without a conviction)
…….• Evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, or
…….• Recent purchase of a gun or ammunition.
Once granted, police are allowed to confiscate all of a person’s guns and ammunition. The person is also banned from buying or possessing any guns and ammo while the order is in effect. A full court hearing must then be held within three weeks. At that time, a judge has the option of extending the restraining order for up to one year.
Los Angeles Police Department 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.”
The law expands on California gun laws that are already some of the country’s toughest. Police already have the power to seize a person’s guns if a licensed therapist informs them that the person’s mental state makes them a danger to themselves or others.
Gun rights organizations such as the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) have opposed the law since it was originally proposed. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action, has already indicated its willingness to use the courts to battle the law.
Is the law a sensible step toward greater safety, a weapon that can be used to unwittingly disarm worthy gun owners, or the first step down the slippery slope that leads to total disregard for our second amendment?
sources: The Daily Caller, Youtube