Starting Jan. 1 of the new year, the State of California passed a new law, known as the “Gun Violence Restraining Order,” that allows family members and the law enforcement to request the judge to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens if they believe the possession of the item to be dangerous to themselves or to other people.
This rule was implemented after an incident in the Isla Vista massacre, near the University of California, Santa Barbara. In this mass murder, the shooter, Elliot Roger, 22, killed six people and injured 14.
“His mother was noticing that he was becoming more agitated and making threats of violence, but there was little she could do and little the police could do,” said Democratic Assemblymember Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, who helped initiate this bill.
This restraining order is to last for 21 days after the initial seizure. After the three weeks are over, the owner is allowed to question and oppose the judges decision. However, this period of confiscation may be extended up to a year, after a judge’s hearing.
While this law seems to be just the thing we need to stop unnecessary deaths, there is much controversy over whether it is really a necessity or simply an accessory.
Nick and Amanda Wilcox, legislative co-chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence believes the law was rightfully implemented.
“The new ‘Gun Violence Restraining Order’ law will give families and law enforcement a needed tool to reduce the risk of mass shootings and gun violence both in the home and on our streets,” said Wilcox.
However, others believe it to be pointless, as it may violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution, that states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
“We don’t need another law to solve this problem,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told the Associated Press. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”
Whatever the case, citizens are hoping that this law can effectively reduce the amount of risk caused by guns in California.