The Senate has passed a bill authored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals who are at-risk for committing acts of violence.
Assembly Bill 1014 is moving on to the Assembly for a hearing and full vote of the house before the end of the month.
“This is a huge success for our community,” Williams said. “The tragedy in Isla Vista is a horrific example of how our mental health laws and gun laws are not working together. This bill will help close the gap and provide the necessary legal tools to empower immediate family members and law enforcement to protect loved ones and the public from the dangers of gun violence.”
Under the provisions of this bill, a gun violence restraining order would be signed by a judge, and temporarily prohibit a named person from owning, purchasing or possessing firearms (or ammunition) who has proven to be at risk for committing acts of violence. Immediate family can request an ex parte GVRO, which lasts 21 days, and can extend it up to a year, after a notice and a hearing. In addition, law enforcement would have the ability to investigate threats and ask a judge to grant an emergency GVRO, which would last 21 days.
"Nothing can bring back the life of my son, but there are common-sense solutions that can help ensure other loved ones aren't killed by preventable gun violence," said Richard Martinez, father of Isla Vista shooting victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez. "This bill will save lives and spare other families from suffering the anguish we experience each day."
Just like a domestic violence restraining order, a GVRO is temporary. The person who is affected by the order cannot possess or purchase a firearm while the order is in effect, but regains his or her right to possess firearms when the order expires or is revoked by the court. AB 1014 also makes it a misdemeanor to petition for a GVRO knowing the information in the petition to be false or with the intent to harass the named individual.
Earlier in the day, family members of three college students who were killed in the recent Isla Vista shooting joined lawmakers at the state Capitol in support of AB 1014 and released a letter asking legislative leaders and Gov. Brown to support AB 1014. The letter can be found here.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson joins Williams and Skinner as a principal co-author of AB1014. The bill now goes to the Assembly, to be heard in the Committee on Public Safety.
— Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.