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'Gun violence restraining order' measure clears Legislature

Measure introduced in response to Isla Vista massacre now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk

The Assembly gave final approval Friday to a measure that would temporarily remove firearms from potentially dangerous individuals.

Lawmakers introduced the measure after the massacre near UC Santa Barbara, when a disturbed man killed six university students and wounded 13 others.

The parents of the gunman, Elliot Rodger, were concerned about the his mental health. But because he had no criminal record and did not meet the legal standard for involuntary commitment, he was not prohibited from possessing guns.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who co-wrote the bill, said of Rodger and other men who have committed mass shootings in recent years that "none of those individuals had a criminal record or a criminal background. So we need tools such as this." 

The bill would allow law enforcement or family members to petition the courts if they believe an individual poses a danger to themselves or others. A judge could then grant a restraining order that would prohibit that person from possessing a gun for 21 days.

If the order expires, or if the individual gets the prohibition overturned, the firearms would be returned.

Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) said losing possession of a gun for three weeks "might be a personal tragedy for some folks...but I have to tell you, after meeting those parents--that tragedy does not comapre with the anguish those people have gone through."

But opponents said the measure, AB 1014, would make it too easy for an individual's ability to own a gun to be challenged.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) said he questioned "the power this bill would confer on virtual strangers."

The bill passed on a 47-25 vote and now heads to the governor. 

Follow @melmason for more on California government and politics.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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