Days after the families of those killed in the Isla Vista shooting pleaded for action, California lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk a measure that allows parents to obtain a restraining order barring gun use for someone displaying mental instability.
Assembly Bill 1014 was the state’s central response to the gun violence near UC Santa Barbara in May in which Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six students after posting violent tirades online and worrying his parents to the point they called police to check on him. The Assembly approved the measure 47-25.
The bill by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would create a gun-violence restraining order to allow the immediate families of a person showing signs of violence to request a court order so police could temporarily remove their weapon. Passage of the measure comes two days after the families of Isla Vista victims visited the Capitol and urged legislators to act.
Skinner said the families and law enforcement officials need the tools to intervene when a person is in a crisis. She said the measure is needed because it has become exceedingly difficult for friends and family to obtain an involuntary psychiatric hold for those in trouble.
“We all know there are emotionally charged events. You can be fired from your job, lose your house in a foreclosure, have a bad breakup, any number of things ... You can be seriously depressed,” Skinner said. “Certain things can trigger irrational behavior. You mix that kind of (emotional) charge with a gun and you can have lethal consequences.”
Critics said it goes too far and infringes on the rights of gun owners by allowing immediate family to report them. Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said she worried a spurned ex-husband or wife could use the proposed law to exact their revenge.
Melendez raised concerns about what she deemed as lax punishment for a person filing a false report and added that nothing lawmakers could do would ultimately stem gun violence.
“Criminals will always find a gun,” Melendez said.