Calif. Senate Panel Advances Bill To Restrict Guns for Mentally Ill
On Tuesday, the California Senate Public Safety Committee advanced a measure (AB 1014) that would allow temporary restraining orders to prevent individuals who are suspected of having mental health issues or who are potentially violent from purchasing guns, KFBK News reports. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee (KFBK News, 6/24).
The measure was introduced after a half dozen people were killed in Isla Vista, Calif., by an individual with suspected mental health issues (McGreevy, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 6/24).
Background on Killings
On May 23, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six individuals by stabbing or shooting them and wounded 13 others in Isla Vista, Calif. Rodger had legally purchased three semi-automatic guns and ammunition used in the attack.
The incident occurred after Rodger's family members had contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department on April 30 with concerns about his mental health. Police conducted a welfare visit and concluded that Rodger did not pose a risk (California Healthline, 5/28).
Details of Bill
Assembly members Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced AB 1014. The bill would allow family members and friends to contact law enforcement if they believe an individual could be a threat to themselves or others, and officers then could ask a judge for the temporary restraining order (California Healthline, 6/6).
Under current state law, individuals can be banned from buying firearms only if they are involuntarily committed to a mental health facility (California Healthline, 5/28).
Reaction From Gun Advocates
Sean Doherty, a California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees lobbyist, said the measure "goes too far" and "shreds the right of privacy and right of property that has been jurisprudence for decades."
Doherty said the bill likely will face a court challenge if approved by the state Legislature ("PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 6/24).
In addition, Craig DeLuz with the CalGuns Foundation said that the bill would allow "people to lose their gun rights based on simple hearsay" and that the measure could be abused (Pringle, Capital Radio News/KPBS, 6/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.