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Posted on June 24, 2014 | 5:20 p.m.

Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill Passes First Hurdle in State Senate

Source: Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios for Assemblyman Das Williams

The Senate Public Safety Committee has passed a bill authored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals who are at risk for committing acts of violence.

Assembly Bill 1014 now awaits a vote by the entire Senate.

“In the recent Isla Vista tragedy, family members saw the warning signs and took action. But they had no legal tools to prevent this mass killing,” Williams said. “This is common sense policy. Mentally unstable individuals should not have access to deadly weapons.”

AB 1014 would establish a process for obtaining a gun violence restraining order from a court in order to temporarily limit (for one year, unless renewed) the individuals access to firearms when there are warning signs or indications that the person is at risk for violence. Currently, Connecticut, Indiana and Texas have similar laws.

The proposed legislation would grant this authority to concerned family members, friends and intimate partners, creating a mechanism to intervene and potentially prohibit the purchase of firearms and/or remove the firearms already in possession. Law enforcement would have the ability to investigate threats and ask a judge to grant an order prohibiting firearms purchase or possession.

“When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs but almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more," Skinner said. “Parents, like the mother who tried to intervene, deserve an effective tool they can act on to help prevent these tragedies."

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson joins Williams and Skinner as a principal co-author of AB1014. The bill now goes to a full vote in the Senate.

Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

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