Family Members Can Request Gun Search & Seizure, California Law Says

A new law in California allows private citizens to request search and seizure of family members' guns, if the firearm owner poses a threat to themselves or the public. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure into law earlier this week. California is the first state to impose a like law this.

According to news sources, the new law grants police officers, family members, and others the legal capacity to seek firearm restraining orders from a judge. This allows law enforcement to seize guns from persons who could commit violent acts. Additionally, it would keep these individuals from purchasing weapons.

The bill was sponsored by California assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, who said that the new law, "puts California in the leadership on efforts to stop gun violence." Few laws, if any, are designed to halt gun violence before it happens. Several states have laws that allow law enforcement to petition for search & seizures, but California is the first that enables family members and confidants to do the same. Gun control advocates hope that the new law will prevent mass and school shootings.

The executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said that, "Family members are the ones who most acutely understand when their loved ones are in dangerous situations. Now, when they see dangerous behavior…a court can act."

NY Times reports that the law is a direct reaction against the Isla Vista college shooting that left six people dead in May.

Some gun rights advocates are still skeptical, claiming that the new law will do little to prevent mass shootings like the tragic Isla Vista rampage. One gun rights proponent and California assemblyman stated, "Every one of us wants to prevent mass shootings. The question is: Would this bill stop that?"

Categories: Weapons Offenses

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