Family members of Isla Vista victims urge passage of gun bill

Family members of Isla Vista victims urge passage of gun bill
Richard Martinez, father of Isla Vista shooting victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, speaks along with survivors of mass shootings and family members of mass-shooting victims during a July 30 news conference in Santa Monica. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Parents and other family members of three UC Santa Barbara students shot to death in the Isla Vista massacre appealed to state lawmakers Tuesday to approve a bill aimed at preventing similar tragedies in the future.
In a letter, 11 relatives of Katie Cooper, Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez and Veronika Weiss urged approval of legislation that would allow law enforcement officials and family members of individuals they suspect to be dangerous to petition the courts for a restraining order barring possession of firearms for 21 days.
The legislation is up for a vote this week, four months after a disturbed man went on a rampage and killed six UC Santa Barbara students and wounded 13 others. The killer had purchased firearms even though his family and others worried that he might be a danger to himself and others.
“If California had a Gun Violence Restraining Order process in place when the Isla Vista shooter’s parents asked the police to help their son, the police could have acted -- and things may be very different for us today,” said the letter signed by the family members.

"Their deaths have shattered our lives," the letter said. "Veronika, Katie, and Christopher were smart and loving young adults and we miss them everyday."

The family members plan to gather on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday to ask the Legislature to approve AB 1014 and for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the measure written by Democratic Assembly members Nancy Skinner of Berkeley and Das Williams of Santa Barbara.

The legislation was also backed Tuesday by Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot and injured in a mass shooting in Arizona. “Just as domestic violence protection orders have provided security for countless vulnerable women and families, gun violence protection orders can help make our communities more safe from gun deaths and injuries - all while respecting our Second Amendment rights,” said Kelly, co-founder of of Americans for Responsible Solutions.