A group representing 69 California mayors, including Los Angeles’ Eric Garcetti, sent a letter Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to sign legislation that would make it easier to temporarily remove guns from individuals believed to be dangerous.
The Legislature last week approved AB 1014, which would allow law enforcement officials and the individuals’ family members to seek a restraining order from the court prohibiting individuals seen as a danger to themselves or others from possessing firearms for 21 days.
“Gun violence restraining orders would create an opportunity to stop gun violence in real life-or-death situations while still protecting the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners,” said the letter from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which said it also represents San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor.
The bill was introduced in response to the Isla Vista massacre in which a disturbed man killed six UC Santa Barbara students and wounded 13 other people.
“We watched with horror on May 23, 2014 as a young man murdered six people in Isla Vista, CA.,” the letter from the mayor’s group says. “The killer’s parents had contacted police after he made suicidal and homicidal statements. But police decided he did not meet the standard for emergency commitment — and no one could act in time to keep guns out of his hands.”
Meanwhile, some gun-rights groups, including Liberal Gun Owners Assn., have sent letters to Gov. Brown urging him to veto the bill by Democratic Assembly members Das Williams of Santa Barbara and Nancy Skinner of Berkeley.
“This unconstitutional, unaffordable, unproven and unworkable bill could cause the very tragedies it is meant to prevent,” said Eric Wooten, president of the association. “Thirty years of a failed war on drugs should have taught us that instead of punishing people for their human frailties, we have a duty to help them.”
Wooten said the bill, AB 1014, would provide an “enormous disincentive” for gun owners to seek help by criminalizing mental and substance-abuse problems.