AssemblymemberMelendez

“Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) announced that her legislation, defending the rights of gun owners, was signed into law by Governor Brown,” ad67.assemblygop.com reports. “Today, we witnessed a rare victory for gun owners across California. By allowing a trustworthy alternative for gun owners to maintain possession of their firearms, we are preventing any unjustified gun grab against those who may be unfairly targeted by bogus allegations.” Uh, no you’re not. Let’s take a closer look . . .

Current law requires a person subject to a gun violence restraining order to either sell their firearms or surrender them to law enforcement. Assembly Bill 950 will allow gun owners to transfer ownership of their firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer to hold for the duration of a gun violence restraining order. This will allow individuals to painlessly maintain ownership of their firearms after the order has expired.

In other words, the bill does nothing to prevent an “unjustified gun grab” under a Gun Violence Restraining Order; a blatantly unconstitutional law that empowers a judge to order the seizure of a gun owner’s firearm ex parte, in secret, without due process. Hello. We’re here to take your guns. Your estranged wife says you’re a nutter. Sign here, here and here. Oh, and your computer? That’s ours, too. These papers? Them too. Like that.

Melendez’s bill simply makes the confiscation process “less painful.” It will be easier for the subject of a GVRO to get their guns back from a gun dealer than from the government, and more likely that they’ll retrieve their firearms in an undamaged condition. Provided, of course, they pay their gun dealer a non-refundable storage fee. Should Melendez have attempted to make the GVRO more palatable? You tell me.

63 Responses to CA Gun Owners Subject to Gun Violence Restraining Order Can Now Stash Firearms at Gun Dealers. How Great Is That?

  1. Is it ideal? Hell no. Is it a better option than what CA gun owner’s had before? I’m reasonably confident that it would be preferable to just surrendering guns to law enforcement.

      • This is California we’re talking about, they’re not really bound by that whole “constitution” thing…

        • By that logic, neither is NJ,NY, IL DC,MA, the list goes on. If that’s the case, what good is the document?

        • No Scrub, I’ll just do what you do. Nothing but say, “Oh well, it’s Ca, NY, NJ etc. Sounds like a plan.

        • I’d love to be on SCOTUS – I’d do a whole lot better than roughly half the justices already there. I’d tell them exactly where to put their intermediate scrutiny.

      • Yes, it probably is, despite Robert’s rants to the contrary. It complies with due process requirements as established by the courts, and no estranged wife is eligible to seek a GVRO. Instead, she will seek a DVTRO that in many cases results in a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms.

        Is this a better alternative? Definitely. A lawsuit was very recently filed by a Los Angeles resident, a retired LEO and avid gun collector who the LAPD believed was a gun trafficker. They set up a sting on a transfer of a firearm where the “buyer” was allowed to “take possession” of a rifle on the way to the FFL to complete the transfer. Plaintiff was arrested and charged, and the police seized his entire collection of over 400 firearms worth half a million dollars. The DA declined to prosecute the bogus sting, and the plaintiff got an order for the return of his collection. The LAPD refused to return them until he proved that he was the owner of the firearms (illegally by the way),, which he did, then they demanded the original receipts, which he provided, and meanwhile months went by. During that time, the City Attorney, ex parte and with no notice to plaintiff or his counsel, obtained an order for destruction of the guns, and the guns were “destroyed.” (Maybe they were, maybe they found new homes, who knows.) The City did this DESPITE a previous consent decree that the LAPD agreed to that set specific guidelines to prevent exactly this scenario from occurring. As an aside, SF and Oakland have played the same sort of games in attempting to prevent the return of seized firearms.

        So the LAST thing you want to happen is to allow the police to get their hands on your guns, as you may never see them again even if your are legally entitled to their return.

  2. We have a similar “practice” here in NJ. There have been several shops open that their primary business is “storage” of firearms for people with TRO’s or other papers filed against them that would make them (temporarily, hopefully) inelligible to own or possess firearms.

  3. … and, of course, the judges who issue these orders have immunity from any form of suit or prosecution…

      • I agree. It makes the gvro more palpable for the courts as it potentially lessens the “damage” to our rights. Meaning it becomes less likely that the courts will overturn the law as being overly burdensome on our 2nd amendment rights. Although it still violates due process if you ask me.

    • Ya, if they can’t catch the rabbit on foot, they put a carrot in the middle of a snare. It’ll take civil war to fix CA, you just gotta decide how old you wanna be when it happens.

  4. The article is sooo damm inprecise. Possesion means to handle, carry, or maintain very closely. OWNERSHIP is something quite clear in legal terms. Matter of fact SCOTUS just decided in a case last month 9 to nothing that ATF didn’t know their arse from a hole in the ground what OWNERSHIP meant. This article interchangeably uses these two terms. Stupid reporting and assemblywoman.

  5. Turning guns over to law enforcement requires a lengthy process to get them back while a dealer allows picking up the day after GVRO expires.
    Wish more ranges offered storage to prevent harassment by police when transporting weapons to the range and allow safe gun storage for those living in apartments or those not having a thousand dollars for a safe.

  6. I guess my biggest beef with the GVRO concept is the near-impossibility of actually getting your guns back once the order expires. As others have pointed out, ex-parte orders are an established element in American law, there is no getting around that. They are bearable because, at least in concept, the ex-parte order (as opposed to the “final order” or even the “temporary order” that follows an adversary hearing) is of very short duration–typically around two weeks at the outside. As a practical matter, if your guns disappear into the gaping maw of the local constabulary, never to return, the ex-parte order has become permanent whatever the outcome of subsequent proceedings. This legislation at least begins to address that problem, so I see it as a good thing.

    • Sorry, ran out of edit time–but: My second-biggest beef is the lack of any substantial disincentive to make baseless claims for harassment purposes. Someone needs to address that one too.

      • Maybe it is a different bill, but I think this bill also changes a false report from a misdemeanor to a felony. (Not that it matters much, as I think most DAs will decline to prosecute absent clear proof that the report was made maliciously. The standard of proof of perjury is still “beyond a reasonable doubt.”)

        • Yeah, now that I think about it, perjury is a notoriously difficult case to make unless the defendant has made two mutually-exclusive type statements under oath. Probably even then. But the effort needs to be made, if it hasn’t been already. Criminal sanctions aren’t the only possible disincentives, having to pay the other party’s expenses and attorney fees might be one, the possibility of being held in civil contempt maybe?

    • “So it’s an FFL transfer. That means another NICS check to get them back. ”

      You had my exact thought. It is a FFL transfer, which means that the former gun owner could be entered into NICS system as a prohibited person.
      The state,(which from recent supreme court rulings means federal and state entities), could then deny that individual their rights based on that TRO, by saying it shows impaired mental incapacity like the VA and SSA has been allowed to do.

    • Ownership isn’t changing. It is not an FFL transfer.

      IMHO, it would be analogous to purchasing a firearm out of state: you purchase (i.e. change ownership) with out-of-state FFL, who does the NICS check. That out-of-state FFL then transfers the firearm to an in-state FFL, who merely takes possession of the firearm in-state, and charges you a fee to let you take possession of the firearm in-state. The transaction with the second, in-state FFL is not a change in ownership, because you own the firearm as soon as you get the NICS check and pay for it out-of-state.

      Similarly, an FFL is merely taking possession of the firearms (likely for a fee?), while you retain ownership of the (illegally seized) firearms.

      • I’d disagree on two different points.

        – If the gun is in the overnight possession of the FFL, he has to log it into his bound book (or equivalent automated system). At that point, it is “his” under Federal law, and he must dispose of it in accordance with Federal law. See: pawn shops who do loans on guns for a fraction of their value. Once the gun is in their possession, it can only be released back to the owner by following Federal law on firearm transfers.

        – If the person fails a NICS check when trying to pickup the firearm that he “owns” but has placed into storage, the FFL has a problem. He can’t release it to the owner, but if he releases it to anyone else, ATF might consider it a Straw Purchase (as the other person may be picking it up just to give it back to the old owner). Proving otherwise can be problematic.

        This type of transfer is riddled with potential problems. A less-than-honest FFL could prepare a short-term storage contract that specifies a low rate for 2- to 3-month storage, but triples the fees if it goes over 60-90 days (knowing full well that the courts take forever to conclude these types of hearings). It could even include an “abandoned property” clause, indicating if the property is not picked up by the owner (specifically, no substitutes allowed) within the specified time, it becomes the property of the storage business and may be sold to pay storage fees (this is a standard contract clause with many garage/room-style storage companies, see “Storage Wars”, and I’ve seen it used in pawn shops as well). The business (or a lackey) then “buys” the gun at a low cost to pay the fees, and might also be able to sell it as inventory, profiting again.

        Better than giving it to L.E.? Only marginally, in my view, and maybe not at all, depending on the contract terms.

      • Unless the law has changed in California, you are required to pass the California background check, and wait ten days, to pick up your own firearm from a FFL.

        For example, if transfer a firearm from out of State, you have to go through the entire process as if you purchased it at the California FFL.
        If a private party sell falls through, you can’t just get your firearm back if it has been in possession of the FFL, you have to go through the entire background check and wait ten days.

  7. Shorter article: CA is still stepping all over your constitutionally protected rights to keep and bear arms, against seizure of person or property, for due process, and to confront one’s accuser – but at least your illegally seized property won’t be seized quite as long.

    • Ex parte orders are universally recognized as constitutional, as long as the law in question provides for a contested hearing, where the accused is entitled to present evidence and be represented by counsel, in short order. The California law provides for a contested hearing within 21 days, and the person seeking the GVRO must prove the allegations with clear and convincing evidence. It is easier to get someone locked up on a 5150 for a mental health assessment, which results in California in a ten year prohibition on the possession of firearms. The maximum allowed under the GVRO is one year.

      To answer another question, California does its own background checks, and although this does include a NICS check, I don’t believe that GVROs are reported to the feds, only to the CADOJ. If an order expires or is rescinded, the DOJ is notified, and the prohibition is cleared. So there should be no issue of passing the background check.

      • Ex parte orders are universally recognized as constitutional…

        And therein lies the problem. Black-robed tyrants “interpret” the constitution to say and mean whatever they want it to say and mean, despite its plain wording.

        I live under the Rule of Law, not judicial fiat.

        • There is nothing in the constitution about ex parte orders, only about due process, and that was by amendment. And as long as there is avenue of judicial review and appeal, the dictates of due process are satisfied. The constitution, by the by, doesn’t define due process–that is a product of judicial determination. And don’t give me this crap about robed tyrants. Judges are absolutely necessary to an ordered society. Someone has to decide, and someone has to have the final word. Or you end up with the Hatfields and McCoys. Our judicial system is not perfect–but it is better than any other system in the world.

        • The Supreme Court is supposed to use the Constitution as a guide. The problems arise when they attempt to legislate. The Supreme Court is not the authority on all matters. If it were, slavery would still be with us today.

    • Governor Brown is not anti-gun, and has vetoed the worst of the measures that have hit his desk. He has also balance the budget and ended up with a budget surplus, eliminating the massive deficits of his Republican predecessors. Schwarzenegger signed the microstamping bill and banned the Barret .50 cal. Between the two, I’ll take Brown. Even if he is a Democrat, he is an excellent governor. I shudder at the thought of his probable successor, Gavin Newsome, former mayor of San Francisco, current Lt. Governor, and rabid anti-gunner.

  8. This is barely mitigation, it could be made better if the person making the filing was responsible for all storage fees. This is still an Unconstitutional infringement without due process, but being CA is entirely expected. While actual abusers should face a stiff sentence, it is common practice, I an told, for the divorce attorney hired by the wife to make this kind of claim. It is mostly intended as a way to take an extra pound of flesh from the soon to be ex.

    • You are confusing the GVRO with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO), an order that results in a lifetime ban. The GVRO law doesn’t go into effect until this coming January 1, making it impossible for divorce attorneys to use them. Besides which “close family relations” as defined in the law, do not include nondomiciliary ex (or soon to be ex) spouses.

  9. You know what, forget California! It’s more reasons when I travel south to take the long way and avoid that state or spending a single penny there. That way I don’t have to worry that my sidearm holds 12 in the mag, or my battle rifle has 30 round mags and no state along my way cares except that pathetic dump Calishitholia.

  10. Well, apart from crime rates, taxes, droughts, bad roads, and wackos, here’s one more reason to not live in California.

  11. I dont feel like (at least in California anyway) we are going to get any sort of huge public opinion overturning victories. So I applaud her for her small step which im sure was not easy in the congress of the Demokraitk Republik of Kalifornia

  12. I would not give a flying F if California slid into the Pacific.
    The more of them sucked into the whirlpool….all the better.
    Ideally then, a tsunami would circle the globe and exterminate New York.

    Just a comment from “flyover country”.

  13. Cool. This means that ammosexuals can get their guns back and kill the women they were harrasing in the first place.

    Stay classy dudes!

  14. Once upon a time I worked in oakland spent every day looking at the golden gate praying for a tsunami….. spent every night praying for the big one the world can’t end soon enough for kalifornistan!

  15. As long as we’re stuck amongst idiots dumb enough to believe “restraining orders” is anything at all besides simple harassment, honestly, who cares? May as well just sit back and wait for the “terrorists” to win the breeding war.

  16. Any port in a storm. If this new law makes it easier on gun owners subjected to a violation of their rights, then I’m for it. Realistically it’s going to be a long, hard fight to overturn the GVRO. In the meantime it’s nice that the victims of this law won’t have to turn their guns over to the loving care of the local PD.

  17. “Assembly Bill 950 will allow gun owners to TRANSFER OWNERSHIP of their firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer to hold for the duration of a gun violence restraining order. This will allow individuals to painlessly MAINTAIN OWNERSHIP of their firearms after the order has expired.”

    I don’t know where these people went to school, but those two sentences are in serious conflict with each other.

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