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New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016

A new gun law in California, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, authorizes the seizure of an individual’s legally purchased guns without notice, if a judge grants a petition filed by an immediate family member or a law enforcement officer, for a 21-day “holding period” while the individual’s mental health is evaluated.

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A new gun law taking effect on Jan. 1, 2016 in California will allow for the seizure of an individual’s guns for a 21-day “holding period” if a complaint is submitted, and if a judge determines that the individual is in need of a mental health evaluation.

Assembly Bill No. 1014 authorizes “gun violence restraining orders” which lets law enforcement seize the firearms of an individual if a judge “finds that there is reasonable cause to believe that the subject of the petition poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself, or another by having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.”

The law states that the petition to have an individual’s guns seized can be filed by “an immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement officer,” and that once granted by a judge, the petition can restrict an individual from “having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition.”

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As previously reported, the bill was originally introduced in 2013 and it gained favor in May 2014 when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a shooting rampage, killing six people and injuring 14 others in Isla Vista, California. Rodger’s mother claimed she had raised concerns about her son’s mental state, but no action had been taken by law enforcement.

While California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and it already lets licensed therapists recommend seizing a patient’s guns if they believe that patient is dangerous, it is now the first state to allow family members to petition for a seizure of firearms.

Other gun laws going into effect in California in 2016 will make it illegal for an individual with a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon on the campus of a K-12 school or a college, and will require that all pellet, BB and airsoft guns can only be displayed in public if they contain special bright colored markers to differentiate them from real guns.

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