A new California law set to take hold at the start of the new year, will allow police to confiscate legally-owned firearms for several weeks without any dues process for the owner.
Via the Daily Caller:
A new California law scheduled to take effect Friday will allow the police to seize private, legally-owned weapons for up to three weeks without charges or allowing the citizen to contest the seizure.
Under the law, a judge has the power to grant a restraining order telling police to seize a person’s guns, based solely on accounts from family members or police that the person is poses an imminent danger to others. The restraining order can be granted without the affected person knowing it exists or being allowed time to contest it.
Anybody who has ever had to deal with Child Protective Services (CPS) knows what kind of slippery slope is being engaged here. I’ve known many people who have had CPS contacted by anonymous callers reporting them for bogus charges. When that happens, the family has to be visited and interviewed, an investigation is conducted which could take several weeks, and the anonymous caller faces zero implications for making the false threat.
What’s to stop a ‘family member’ or somebody posing as such from making similar allegations? What happens if a woman involved in a domestic violence dispute is reported by her husband, and has the only form of protection she has from that husband taken away?
Under the law, the factors a judge can consider in granting the restraining order include not only threats of violence, but also prior felony arrests (even without a conviction), evidence of alcohol abuse, and even the simple act of recently purchasing a gun or ammunition.
Once granted, police can use the restraining order to confiscate all of a person’s guns and ammunition, and the person is also barred from buying or possessing guns and ammo for the duration of the order. A full court hearing must then be heard within three weeks. At that hearing, a judge will be able to extend the restraining order for an entire year.
New York’s SAFE Act has allowed for similar confiscation of weapons based on such reporting.
Last year, the New York Times indicated that 34,500 people in the Empire State “have been reported to a state database as a danger to themselves or others, and prohibited from owning firearms for five years.”
Even more concerning, mental health professionals in New York have stated they feel compelled “to report virtually anyone who came through an emergency room for psychiatric screening.” And those ‘professionals’ might not be as professional as one would think.
Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act already allows for social workers, registered nurses, and “unlicensed” psychologists to determine whether or not state police can seize a gun owner’s weapons.