Under a new California law, families can ask police to confiscate lawfully-owned weapons from close relatives. The law was introduced after an unstable gunman’s shooting rampage left seven people dead and 13 injured.
It is the first law in the US that gives families who think a close relative might commit gun violence the ability to petition for a restraining order. The measure was signed into law Tuesday by Democrat Governor Jerry Brown, and has wide support by law enforcement agencies and gun control advocates.
“The new ‘Gun Violence Restraining Order’ Law will give families and law enforcement a needed tool to reduce the risk of mass shootings and gun violence both in the home and on our streets,” said Nick and Amanda Wilcox, legislative co-chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, reported Reuters.
The measure allows families and law enforcement to petition for protection which is valid for 21 days. The order can be extended up to a year, after a notice and a hearing.
Republican senators spoke out against the bill, arguing there were already measures to keep guns away from dangerous and unstable people. Critics said the bill infringed on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The measure was introduced after Elliot Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College student, went on a rampage in May 2014, killing six people and injuring 13, before taking his own life. Law enforcement had three earlier dealings with Rodger, including one in which his family had asked them to check on their son as they were concerned about his health.