New York City assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) is introducing a bill that would allow law enforcement, relatives, or “anyone who’s concerned,” to initiate a restraining order against an individual that would prevent them from “acquiring or possessing” guns.
Two things here – One, who’s to say exactly what constitutes a danger and how will it be defined in this bill? Can a neighbor who finds your pro-NRA lawn sign offensive now report you as a danger?
Two, the restraining order on somebody who already owns a gun means they will have the guns confiscated. If you can’t ‘possess’ what you already have, it will be taken.
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A New York assemblyman is introducing gun restraining order legislation. The idea is to temporarily deny individuals who are considered dangerous access to guns.
Democratic Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan this week announced legislation that aims to reduce the risk of gun violence. Here’s how.
“So this is a bill that would permit family members or friends or medical professionals or law enforcement or really anyone who’s concerned that somebody having to access to guns poses a serious danger to go to a court and present evidence of that, and if the court were persuaded, they would be able to issue a temporary order preventing the person from acquiring or possessing guns,” Kavanagh explains. “The person who is the subject of the order would then have an opportunity to appeal that decision.”
A legal gun owner would have to prove on appeal that they weren’t going to commit a crime with their weapons, just because a ticked off neighbor or relative decided to report them? This is dangerously close to having thought crimes prosecuted.
Kavanagh modeled his bill after California’s gun violence restraining bill signed into law September 30. The bill, AB1014, allows for confiscatory gun seizures from those deemed a risk.
One lawmaker in California explained that their bill can be used against people with “anger issues” or who is “temporarily depressed.”
The biggest issue with throwing around such terminology is that the phrases “anger issues” and “depressed” aren’t clearly defined in New York state. We’ve already seen scenarios in which New Yorkers prescribed anxiety medications have run afoul of the law, while poorly worded laws have left the door open for gun seizures if they happen to have made too much noise.
Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act already allows for social workers, registered nurses, and “unlicensed” professionals to determine whether or not state police can seize a gun owner’s weapons.
The only thing Kavanagh’s new bill adds to the mix is the concept that “anyone who’s concerned” can now report gun owners.
When Governor Cuomo was first bouncing the SAFE Act idea around, he mentioned that “confiscation could be an option.” Is that now the new reality thanks to Democrats like Kavanagh?