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Bill that Could Remove Guns from 'People in Crisis' Passes First Hurdle in Senate

Assemblymember Das Williams said, “This is common sense policy. Mentally unstable individuals should not have access to deadly weapons.”

The Senate Public Safety Committee has passed a bill authored by Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), which would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals who are at risk for committing acts of violence. 

Assembly Bill 1014 now awaits review by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The recent shootings in Santa Barbara, after the parents of the disturbed young man desperately tried but failed to get help before their son’s killing spree, provides an example of how options are limited for families in crisis.

“When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs but almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more," said Assemblymember Skinner. “Parents, like the mother who tried to intervene, deserve an effective tool they can act on to help prevent these tragedies."

Related article: Politicians Propose Law to Prevent Mass Killings in Wake of UCSB Massacre

AB 1014 establishes a process for obtaining a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) from a court in order to temporarily limit (for one year, unless renewed) an individual’s access to firearms when there are warning signs or indications that the person is at risk for violence. Currently, Connecticut, Indiana and Texas have similar laws.   

“In the recent Isla Vista tragedy, family members saw the warning signs and took action. But they had no legal tools to prevent this mass killing,” said Assemblymember Williams. “This is common sense policy. Mentally unstable individuals should not have access to deadly weapons.”

The legislation, modeled on California’s domestic violence restraining order laws, creates a mechanism to intervene and potentially prohibit the purchase of firearms and/or remove the firearms already in possession. Law enforcement would have the ability to investigate threats and ask a judge to grant an order prohibiting firearms purchase or possession.

“This bill would put California at the forefront, and give family members a powerful way to help prevent gun violence before it happens,” said State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “Not only will it help keep family members safer, it will help make our communities safer.” 

AB 1014 also provides guidance to courts for evaluating whether to issue a GVRO, based upon a person’s prior acts of violence (or threats to commit acts of violence) toward themselves or others and other risk factors for future violence.

—Information submitted by the Office of Assemblymember Nancy Skinner

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Desert Rat June 26, 2014 at 08:18 PM
You folks arguing for the right to bear arms are wasting your time. The anti-gun people are running on pure emotion. When hyperbole takes over and anti-gun people are whipped into a frenzy, no lie, no manipulation of statistics, no subversive tactic, no vilifying of law abiding citizens is too far when you have this noble cause to achieve. When it comes to the liberal anti-gun agenda, the ends always justify the means. Everybody run out and buy a copy of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, read it, study it, and just learn to go along to get along.
Batman June 27, 2014 at 01:23 AM
Rat, reluctantly I will admit you are right. But I, Batman am not going along with any of this crap! You can strap me to a conveyor belt headed for a giant buzz saw and I still won't go along. Because I know I am right. If the American people are disarmed the murder and mayhem will be 1000 fold what it is now. Just look what Joseph Stalin did to his unarmed people. Not even Adolf Hitler did as much.
Average American June 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Make no mistake about it, they are going to be coming for your guns eventually, just a matter of time. They will first go for the "Registry" and I think the more informed of us all know that a registry has preceeded almost every gun grab in history. How did that registry work out for the Jews in WW2?
school bus ninja June 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM
None of this would have happened if women put out more. Don't be so stingy with the lovin'. Just sayin.
Paul Hamilton July 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM
When you take the Guns away from honest citizens. All you will have are Armed thugs who have no fear of being shot, an armed citizen is a defense against crime. I personally will fight to keep my guns.

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