Governor signs law allowing guns to be temporarily taken from people determined to be threat

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law today a measure that allows guns to be temporarily taken from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others due to mental instability or otherwise. The law is a response to the Isla Vista shooting rampage that occurred near the UC Santa Barbara campus back in May, during which a mentally disturbed 22 year old man killed 6 people and then himself.

The law allows either law enforcement or immediate family members to ask a court to impose a “temporary emergency gun violence restraining order” against a person by showing the court evidence1any person who deliberately gives false information would be charged with a misdemeanor that there is a “substantial likelihood” that the person poses a threat to himself/herself in the near future by having any guns.

If a court agrees that there is such a threat, it may impose the temporary restraining order for up to 21 days, which would allow police to take and hold any guns the person has for this period of time. Within these 21 days, the court must then hold a hearing to determine whether the restraining order should be extended for one year. The person subject to the restraining order would be invited to the hearing to make his/her case.

This law is the first in the country to allow a person’s family member to initiate the process of taking away his/her guns. Other states already have laws allowing law enforcement to do so.

The law goes into effect beginning January 1, 2016.

See other laws about guns and other weapons at our Weapons page.

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