I was encouraged to read a headline in the Washington Post this morning, “Colorado just used its gun seizure law for the first time — one day after it took effect.”
The Post report is specific to Colorado, but it outlines a “growing list of states with legislation allowing authorities to seize firearms from people deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others.”
“Until the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, four other states followed Connecticut’s lead in adopting “red flag” legislation. Since then, a dozen states and the District of Columbia have passed gun seizure laws in an effort to prevent rising gun violence and suicides by firearm.”
Connecticut was the first state to enact a red flag law. It did so in 1999 following a rampage shooting at the Connecticut Lottery.
California adopted its red-flag law in 2014, the first state to pass a red flag law allowing immediate family members to petition courts to take weapons from persons deemed a threat. The law also permits police and roommates to request confiscation.
In February 2019, the Chronicle’s Alexei Koseff reported that California gun confiscations had increased sharply under the restraining-order law. “Courts approved petitions to confiscate weapons from 424 people in 2018, according to the Justice Department. That was up dramatically from 2017, when 104 such orders were issued, and 2016, the year the law took effect, when there were 86. In the nine Bay Area counties, gun violence restraining orders jumped significantly, to 53 [in 2018], from 14 in 2017.”
Most recently in October 2019, California strengthened its firearm seizure laws, expanding the right to request confiscation to co-workers and employers. The new law, AB1493, also creates “a way for someone subject to an order to voluntarily relinquish their gun ownership.” [SF Chronicle, More Californians can seek gun removals after Newsom signs new firearm laws]
HOW TO REQUEST A GUN VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER:
If you know of someone who is a firearm danger to self or others, call 911 or contact your local police. AND… for more information and instructions see online at California Courts, Ask For a Gun Violence Restraining Order (courts.ca.gov/33679.htm). [I am surprised that the California Courts page has seemingly not caught up with the 2019 law expanding the right to petition to co-workers and employers.]
Let’s hope the strengthened law has the intended outcome of decreasing suicides and homicides here in California.
More Californians can seek gun removals after Newsom signs new firearm laws
• AB164 by Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, which authorizes California law enforcement officers to remove weapons from people who are not allowed to own guns because of a restraining order in another state.
• AB879 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson (Los Angeles County), which requires that parts that could be used to build a gun at home be sold through a licensed manufacturer after a background check, starting in July 2024.
• SB61 by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), which limits gun buyers to one semiautomatic center-fire rifle per month and forbids Californians under age 21 from purchasing them.
• SB376 by Portantino, which requires that guns won at charity auctions or raffles be transferred through a licensed dealer and that the recipients undergo a waiting period.
• AB645 by Irwin, which adds a suicide prevention hot line number to the warning label on gun packaging and requires the written test for a handgun safety certificate to cover suicide.
• AB1297 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, which eliminates the $100 limit for concealed-carry license fees and requires counties to charge what it costs to pay for administering the program.
• AB 521 by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, which directs the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center to develop education and training programs for medical and mental health providers on preventing gun injuries.