Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure which allows family members to ask judges to remove firearms from relatives who appear to pose a threat. Prior to the measure's passage, Connecticut, Indiana and Texas were the only states where law enforcement officials could seek a judge's order allowing them to seize guns from people they deem to be a danger. The California measure expands the scope by allowing relatives to seek the same restraining orders.
Under the bill, whomever seeks the restraining order would be required to sign an affidavit under oath. Falsifying an affidavit is a misdemeanor. A court hearing is mandated within 14 days of the order's issuance to allow the gun owner a chance to argue they pose no danger.
Previously, officials could only seize guns from those convicted of felonies, violent misdemeanors, under a domestic violence restraining order or determined to be mentally unstable. Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California says the organization feels the law "just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy."