When AB1014 was introduced by California lawmakers, many considered it too extreme to ever be signed into law. However, as California is arguably the most liberal state in the nation, the worst nightmare of Conservative patriots statewide has come to fruition. Gun owners may now have their firearms confiscated by a judge, on the advice of a family member that they pose a threat.
The bill’s impetus was the Santa Barbara college student dubbed the “Virgin Killer,” who went on a shooting rampage last May in Isla Vista. Supporters of AB1014 argued that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger could have been thwarted in his deadly shooting spree, had his family been able to request that law enforcement remove the mentally disturbed young man’s firearms.
Peter Rodger, the killer’s father, made a statement Tuesday night imploring other states to follow California’s lead. “California, today, is a safer state because of this legislation. Let’s hope other states follow,” commented Rodger. Similar legislation in Connecticut, Indiana and Texas allows for police to obtain permission from a judge to confiscate firearms, however the law does not extend to family members in those states.
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Richard Martinez is the father of Isla Vista shooting victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, and an advocate for the far left group Everytown for Gun Safety. He echoed the same sentiment as Rodger, saying that Brown’s signing of the bill “helped to honor the life of my son, Christopher, and so many others killed by senseless gun violence.” Martinez added in a statement on Tuesday:
“Nothing we can do will bring back Christopher, but I’m confident this new law will help save lives and prevent other families from experiencing this same kind of tragedy. States around the country should be exploring this life-saving measure.”
As we usually see when the Democrats get their hands on a bill, it is chock-full of discrepancies and vague verbiage, which will ultimately leave room for the Second Amendment rights of all Californians to be infringed to an unprecedented degree. The most glaring issue with AB1014, is the fact that family members of gun owners are not required to present ample proof when they come before a judge to request that firearms be confiscated from an individual.
Family members will be required to sign an affidavit under oath, which Democrats laughably believe will prevent anyone from lying or exaggerating to create a credible threat. Lying under oath would land the culprit with a misdemeanor, however, proving that someone was lying is a challenge. Anyone could easily argue that they were presenting the facts to the best of their knowledge at the time, if accused of lying in a court of law.
A court hearing would be held within 14 days after the firearms ‘restraining order’ is granted, to give the gun owner a chance to argue there is no danger. However, you can imagine all of the injustices which might occur in that 14-day period. Additionally, we know from past experience that law enforcement is rarely swift to return firearms to an owner who has had them wrongfully confiscated.
AB1014 is so controversial, that many Democratic legislators voted against the bill, which was drafted by Assembly members Nancy Skinner of Berkeley and Das Williams of Santa Barbara. Never the less, Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Tuesday.
Brown also signed a related bill from Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. SB505 requires law enforcement to develop policies which encourage officers to search the state’s database of gun purchases as part of routine welfare checks. Jackson’s bill was in response to the fact that law enforcement was unaware that Elliot Rodger possessed firearms, before he went off the deep end, killing six and wounding 13 others.
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Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, joined the NRA in opposition of the bills. He explained:
“Our concern is not so much what they intended to do; our concern is with the method they put in place to address people with mental or emotional issues. We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”
This most recent assault on the Second Amendment is unlikely to actually save any lives. On the contrary, violent crime will continue to rise in California. Taking a madman’s weapon will not prevent him from acquiring another as soon as the police leave. The only thing that AB1014 and SB505 will do is take firearms out of the hands of “good guys,” paving the way for criminals to wreak havoc on those who cannot protect themselves.
Still, Amanda Wilcox, an advocate for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, argued that if AB1014 saves even one life, it will be worth the trouble it causes for lawful gun owners statewide. “It’s hard to know how much it will be used or how much it will prevent,” Wilcox said. “It only takes avoiding one loss for this to be worth it.”
Let us know how you feel about California’s new gun control laws in the comments section.