According to SFGate, a site that bills itself as the Bay City News Service, a proposal has been put forth by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to facilitate gun confiscation. Now, it’s important to note the proposed gun law applies specifically to people who have had restraining orders (RO) and temporary protection orders (TRO) taken out against them.
SFGate reports as follows:
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider funding a new team specifically aimed at getting guns out of violent hands.
Board president Cindy Chavez will introduce a proposal to earmark nearly $430,000 to support a “gun team” tasked with removing guns from repeated domestic abusers and people with temporary restraining orders against them.
“It is a lethal combination where there’s a case involving domestic violence and a court order to remove a gun from a person with a restraining order against them, particularly if it’s not enforced,” Chavez said during a Monday news conference.
So where is that nearly-half-a-mil initial investment of funds coming from?
County general fund money would pay for a new criminal investigator and attorney for the county gun team. Several other positions would be funded by grants from the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative.
Sounds like a good gun law, right? People known to be violent will have their guns confiscated thus protecting the victims of their abuse.
The current methodology in the Golden State is that if you have a restraining order issued against you, you have to turn in your own gun. As court.ca.gov says:
If the law enforcement officer does not take your firearms [when you are served], you have to turn them in to the police or sell them to, or store them with, a licensed firearms dealer. (Respond to a Request for Firearms Restraining Order, https://www.courts.ca.gov/33680.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en)
What could possibly go wrong?
Coming at this as someone who has had to take out a restraining order against a violent ex gives me a unique perspective, but it probably isn’t the one you’d expect. This particular attempt at forming a gun confiscation team is being presented with the claim of being for violent offenders and people with active restraining orders against them.
Looks good on the surface, right? Finally, a common-sense gun law! Guess again.
Gun confiscation is a slippery slope. Authorizing and funding law enforcement to put together a team to go in and take guns away is an iffy proposition at best. It might be starting with people – and the occasional woman – who’ve had a restraining order issued against them, but where does it end? And what about the restraining orders that are wrongly put in place?
If the 21 days passes between the TRO being issued and the court date, and the judge decides it should never have happened, is the person going to get their guns back? Good luck with that. I seriously doubt it.
The gun confiscation team isn’t a perfect solution it’s more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. For an added touch of irony, Deputy District Attorney Marisa McKeown said “…the very voluminous California laws on guns mean nothing if we don’t adequately and smartly enforce them.”
Exactly. Law enforcement can already take firearms from people when they serve a firearms-specific restraining order, so why do they need a dedicated team? They don’t. Enforce the existing gun laws — of which there are far too many in California already — and move on.
Two thumbs way, way, down for this one, California (as with the vast majority of your gun laws). If you’re being abused, defend yourself. Get a restraining order – yes, really, get one – and get yourself armed and trained. You know the drill; say it with me. When seconds count law enforcement and all associated gun laws are only minutes away.