California Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is pushing to expand firearm confiscations by allowing co-workers and others to file a complaint that sets the “secret” confiscation process in motion.
The confiscations are tied to Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs), which were passed by CA Democrats following Elliot Rodger’s May 23, 2014 Santa Barbara attack. GVROs were touted as a vehicle through which families could petition a court for the seizure of guns from a family member. With order in hand, police could confiscate firearms from the family member without notice.
The GVROs were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown (D) on October 1, 2014 and became effective January 1, 2016. Assemblyman Ting is now pushing AB 2607 to expand GVROs so co-workers, employers, teachers, and others, can petition a court to have the “secret” confiscations ordered.
In an April 27 press release, the Firearms Policy Coalition observed:
[Ting’s] bill massively expands a controversial law that has only been in place for 4 months. At present, current law permits family members and peace officers to petition a court, in secret, in order to restrain an individual from possessing firearms. AB 2607 compounds this measure by adding, to the list of qualified petitioners, employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school.
This would add thousands of people (including complete strangers) to the list of people who could petition a court to restrain a person from possessing firearms, triggering a warrant and armed law enforcement raids—without trial, conviction, or opportunity to defend oneself before a court.
Expanding the “secret” confiscation process to include teachers will have a chilling effect on gun owners who may not agree with a professor’s point of view at the university, but refuse to speak up for fear of having their gun rights suspended. In the same way, gun owners with treatable mental health problems may be tempted to stay away from caregivers in order to insure the uninterrupted continuation of their right to keep and bear arms.
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