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Thursday, May 29, 2014

California Proposes Gun Control Measure Pushed at December UVA Forum

The New York Times reports that the California legislature is pushing a so-called "gun violence restraining order" bill that would allow family members to notify courts or law enforcement officials if they are concerned that a family member or friend is at risk of committing violence.  The gun ban lobby has been pushing this in state legislatures this year and unveiled the proposal as part of a gun control forum held at the University of Virginia last December.  Sebastian noted the problems with such proposals yesterday:
I want to especially focus on the mental health law in California, especially given Bob Owens piece this morning about how California is going to make it easy for your friends or family who may not like guns to deny you your fundamental rights with no due process. They are proposing to make a means for friends and family to petition to have you denied your Second Amendment rights. How many people you know, coworkers, etc, think you’re nuts just because you own a gun?
The gun ban lobby was not successful in passing such a law in Virginia this year and the Times notes that even though California has some of the harshest gun control in the nation, it could be tough going getting the bill passed and signed by Governor Brown:
Darrell Steinberg, president pro tem of the California Senate, said in an interview on Wednesday that he was not familiar with the details of the restraining order legislation, though he foresaw concerns being raised about civil liberties. Such a bill “would have to be very carefully crafted, because you do not want the law to get into the middle, or just to be used as a pretext or excuse for leverage in an intergenerational family fight,” he said. “You could see the potential for abuse.” 
On the other hand, Mr. Steinberg said: “There might be circumstances where it is appropriate for this additional protection. I think this is worthy of a real serious conversation.” 
If the gun ban lobby is successful in California, look for them to come back for another bite at the apple in Virginia next year.

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