In California, a family member has the power to petition a judge to impose a “gun violence restraining order” on a relative, which, if granted, triggers law enforcement to confiscate the firearms of the supposedly dangerous individual.
While the intent of the law is ostensibly good, it certainly opens up the door for abuse. A disgruntled spouse can easily use the law to make life extremely miserable for his/her gun-owning husband/wife.
Until Gov. Jerry Brown signed a reform bill this week that changes the law, a person caught in the crosshairs of a “gun violence restraining order” was forced to either sell off their firearm collection or turn them over to law enforcement.
Assembly Bill 950, championed by Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), amends the law to allow the person to transfer his/her firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer to hold for the duration of a gun violence restraining order. Once the matter is cleared up and the order expires or is revoked, the person will have no trouble getting back their property.
“Today, we witnessed a rare victory for gun owners across California,” said Melendez. “By allowing a trustworthy alternative for gun owners to maintain possession of their firearms, we are preventing any unjustified gun grab against those who may be unfairly targeted by bogus allegations.”
“I am honored bipartisanship prevailed and my colleagues, the Governor, and I were all able to agree on the importance of protecting the Second Amendment,” Melendez added.
Assembly Bill 950 will take effect January 1, 2016.