The left has always claimed that they were interested in "commonsense" gun safety laws, not in confiscating weapons from law abiding citizens. When they get enough power, you learn in very short order that their real agenda is actually ensuring that no private citizen is able to possess a firearm legally. What no one said would or could happen is coming to pass in California.
Via The Washington Times:
Gun-safety legislation going into effect in California next week will allow authorities to seize a person’s weapons for 21 days if a judge determines there’s potential for violence.
Proposed in the wake of a deadly May 2014 shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger, the bill provides family members with a means of having an emergency “gun violence restraining order” imposed against a loved one if they can convince a judge that allowing that person to possess a firearm “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”
“The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore told a local NPR affiliate. “It allows further examination of the person’s mental state.”
“It’s a short duration and it allows for due process,” he continued, adding: “It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state.”
Why is this law even in place? Because in May 2014, a guy named Eliot Rodgers went on a stabbing and shooting rampage in Isla Vista, CA, that left six dead (three stabbed to death) and 14 injured (seven by automobile). The guy had mental health problems. The family had no inkling what he was up to until the attack was underway and alerted the police. In short, absolutely nothing in this bill would have had any impact on the Isla Vista killings. And, as it doesn't cover knives or cars, there would still have been three dead and seven injured. In short, the law passed in reaction to this tragedy is EXACTLY the same kind of law that Obama pushed for in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting: one that has no bearing on the event itself.
How does this work? A "friend" or "family member" (read that as angry neighbor or deranged and embittered ex) notifies the cops. The cops then ask a judge for a 21-day "temporary restraining order." This is important. The people who make the allegation never have to appear in court. They only need to convince the police to go to a judge who is, no way possible, going to refuse the restraining order. At the end of that time, the restraining order can be extended for a year after a hearing. That one year can be repeated indefinitely. Can you give your weapons to a friend or family member for safe keeping? No. The police must hold the weapons for the duration of the restraining order. Oh, yeah, they serve you with a search warrant at the same time so they can "look for firearms."
Practically, this means once you are his with the restraining order you will never own a firearm again for the rest of your life and the ones the police take from you will never be returned. Is any California judge going to lift the restraining order and take the risk that at some later point you may be involved in a shooting of some kind? No.
So, do you, the subject of such an action have the right to be notified that such an allegation has been made against you? Do you have to right to contest their application? Can you contest the ability of the state, without anything approaching probably cause, to have you hauled in for "mental evaluation?" (Why is it that totalitarian regimes invariably use the mental health system to deal with dissidents and non-conformists?) Nope.
How will you find out? When a SWAT team shows up at your door to take your weapons and cart you off for a mental health evaluation.
Photo credit: Jan Tik via Flickr Creative Commons