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California Legislature Considers Bill Allowing Gun Restraining Orders

Credit: Seth Perlman / AP

Handguns lined up on a table.

This week the California Legislature will consider a bill that would allow people to file gun violence restraining orders — similar to those for domestic violence. It's designed for people who fear a mentally unstable friend or family member may be about to commit a violent act.

Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner brought back her bill, which stalled in the Senate last year. She says concerned loved ones should have the ability to issue a restraining order when dangerous warning signs appear.

“The judge can then weigh that and issue one,” says Skinner. “The police can then repossess the weapons, it’s temporary, but repossess the weapons and also put them on a list not to be able to buy a gun.”

Skinner says this type of law could have prevented the recent UC Santa Barbara shooting incident, where the parents of the shooter had limited options. Similar laws are on the books in Texas, Indiana and Connecticut.

But Craig DeLuz of the Calguns Foundation says this bill could be abused.

“We’re allowing people to lose their gun rights based on simple hearsay,” he says.

The bill is due to be heard next in the Senate Rules Committee.

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