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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they are deemed to be dangerous under a bill facing a Tuesday deadline for action by the governor.
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, introduced Assembly Bill 2014 after a deadly rampage in May near the University of California, Santa Barbara that left six people dead and 13 injured from gunshots and stab wounds.
Tuesday is the deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown to act on the last of the 768 bills approved during the final weeks of the legislative session, which ended Aug. 31. He has not indicated whether he will sign or veto Skinner's bill.
Supporters say it could help prevent future attacks like the one in Isla Vista, while opponents say it would erode gun rights.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies had visited the killer, 22-year-old community college student Elliot Rodger, weeks before the rampage after his parents raised concerns about his behavior. But deputies determined he was not a threat.
The legislation would make California the first state to let family members go directly to a judge to request a restraining order that would prohibit gun possession, at least temporarily. Law enforcement officers in Connecticut, Indiana and Texas already can seek a judge's order allowing them to seize guns from people they deem to be a danger.
Skinner's bill would extend that authority to family members.
A court hearing would be set within 14 days for firearm owners to argue that they are not a danger. A related bill also waiting action, SB505, seeks to encourage law enforcement to check gun purchase databases before conducting welfare checks.
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