Tags: Gun Control | California Gun Law | Seize | Guns | Without | Notice

California Law Allowing Police to Seize Guns Without Notice Begins Jan. 1

Image: California Law Allowing Police to Seize Guns Without Notice Begins Jan. 1 (Getty Images)

By Cathy Burke   |   Wednesday, 30 Dec 2015 10:42 AM

A new California gun control law takes effect next week that will allow police, without prior warning to a gun owner, to seize their weapons if a judge decides there's a potential for violence.

The law was prompted by a 2014 mass shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in which officers beforehand visited shooter Elliot Rodger's home after his parents raised alarms about his mental health — yet concluded he wasn't a risk and didn't search the apartment where he'd stashed guns, ammo and knives.

Under the new legislation, families can obtain a "gun violence restraining order," the Washington Times reports.

"The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will," Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore tells public radio affiliate KPCC.

"It's a short duration and it allows for due process. It's an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person's mental state."

California law already bans people from possessing guns if they've committed a violent crime or were involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. Police may also seize guns if a licensed therapist notifies them an individual is a risk to their own safety or the safety of others, KPCC reports.

But Second Amendment advocates say the law could put lawful gun owners at risk.

"We don't need another law to solve this problem," Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, tells The Associated Press. "We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy."

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A new California gun control law takes effect next week that will allow police, without prior warning to a gun owner, to seize their weapons if a judge decides there's a potential for violence.
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