CA law enlists family members in gun confiscation agenda

California will be the first state in the country to allow private citizens to ask a court to seize guns from family members under a measure signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.
The law will allow law enforcement officials, family members and some others to seek a gun restraining order from a judge. That order would authorize officials to temporarily seize any firearm owned by someone deemed potentially violent, who would also be placed on a list of people prohibited from purchasing weapons.
Several states have passed laws allowing law enforcement officials to petition to take firearms from people considered dangerous, but California is the first to allow family members to do so as well — a provision that gun control advocates said would be crucial in preventing suicides as well as mass shootings.
The legislation was introduced in direct response to the shooting in Isla Vista, Calif., in May, when Elliot O. Rodger, 22, killed six people and wounded more than a dozen others. Mr. Rodger had legally purchased three firearms in the preceding months and had been able to keep them even though his family warned the police that he might be unstable.
The petition process would be similar to the one used to obtain restraining orders in cases of domestic violence. The new measure will take effect in 2016.
Gun rights advocates said that the firearm restraining orders would do little to prevent mass shootings like the one in Isla Vista and would instead deprive some Californians, before they had committed a crime, of their right to defend themselves. Several suggested the law would not withstand a challenge in court.
“Every one of us wants to prevent a mass shooting,” said Tim Donnelly, a California assemblyman and gun rights proponent. “The question is: Would this bill stop that? I don’t believe you can ever stop that with laws. I don’t believe you can legislate evil out of the hearts of men.”
With Democrats controlling the Legislature and every statewide office, California already has some of the strictest gun measures in the country. Still, Mr. Brown has often been reluctant to further restrict access to guns. Last year, he vetoed several high-profile gun-control bills, but on Tuesday, he approved the gun restraining orders without comment.

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