California allows family members to seek seizure of firearms

California allows family members to seek seizure of firearms

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a bill into law that allows people to ask a court to seize firearms from member/s of their families who they believe pose a risk to themselves or the public.

Under the new law, law enforcement officials, family members and some others can seek an order from a judge to restrain a gun from someone who could pose threat in the future. That order would permit enforcement officials to temporarily seize any firearm from any potentially-dangerous person, who would also be placed among people banned from buying weapons.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, who sponsored the bill, said the signing of the bill into law put the Golden State in the leadership on efforts to prevent gun violence as law enforcement and families can now intervene before occurrence of a shooting tragedy.

Josh Horwitz, the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence that has long been lobbing for harsher gun control rules, welcomed the new law, saying families would be able to intervene if they see any dangerous behavior.

Welcoming the new law, Horwitz said, "Family members are the ones who most acutely understand when their loved ones are in a dangerous situation. Now, when they see dangerous behavior - whether because of substance abuse or a mental health issue or a traumatic brain injury - a court can act."

The measure was introduced in wake of the shooting in Isla Vista, California, in May this year, when 22-year-old Elliot O. Rodger killed six people and injured around twelve others. Rodger, who also killed himself, had legally bought three firearms and had been able to keep them, even as his family had warned the police that he might pose a risk to himself or the public.

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