As of January 1, 2016 a California gun law goes into effect that will allow the government to seize citizens’ firearms and hold them for 21 days it a judge finds a potential for violence. The bill was first proposed after the 2014 shooting rampage committed by Elliot Rodger. The bill allows a family member or other significant other to convince a judge that an individual in the possession of firearms “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”
 
Some members of law enforcement appear to be supportive of the law. According to LAPD Assistant Chief Michael Moore. The law gives police a means to force a person to surrender possession of firearms, said Moore, who in an interview with NPR said that it provides a “time out, if you will.” Moreover, Moore contended that the law permits “further examination of the person’s mental state.” Moore said “It’s a short duration and it allows for due process,” and added, “It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state.”
 
Elliott Rodger killed six persons and wounded 14 more before committing suicide on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He used three legally purchased handguns, and two knives. 
 
Following the killings, UC-Santa Barbara President Janet Napolitano – a former Obama administration Secretary of Homeland Security – admitted “This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.” The law seeks to allow the family members of potential shooters to prevent access to their own legal firearms, and thus prevent future rampages. In an interview with CBS, San Diego State University professor Wendy Patrick said it is “the family members, it’s the people closest to the perpetrator who are in the best position to notice red flags.” 
 
Advocates for the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were quick to denounce the development. Sam Paredes, who directs Gun Owners of California, said “We don’t need another law to solve this problem.” Paredes added, “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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