(Sacramento, CA) – Democratic California Assembly Members Nancy Skinner (Berkeley) and Das Williams (Santa Barbara) have introduced Assembly Bill 1014, a bill that would allow anyone to ask a court for a “Gun Violence Restraining Order” and “firearms seizure warrant” against California gun owners. The measure was immediately and viciously opposed by the gun rights group California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), which called the bill “a wanton violation of nearly every guarantee of liberty contained in the Bill of Rights.”
Under the proposed law, California gun owners could face a loss of their Second Amendment gun rights and confiscation of their firearms without prior warning. The proposed law allows the government up to two weeks following the issuance of a restraining order to set a hearing in which the subject of the order could argue for the reinstatement of their Second Amendment rights and return of any firearms seized.
“AB 1014 is a gun control nightmare,” said Brandon Combs, president of CAL-FFL. “California Democrats are taking their radical anti-gun agenda to an entirely new and horrifying level.” Combs, who debated the bill with Assemblymember Williams and UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler on the Los Angeles-based radio talk show “Which Way, LA?”, said that the bill “guts due process” and the presumption of innocence.
“The subject of a restraining order and confiscation warrant may not even know they have been accused until there’s a SWAT team at their door.”
According to the bill’s text, courts would be required to issue a restraining order if a person--who doesn’t even have to know the target of the order--submits a form saying that a gun owner “poses a significant risk of personal injury to himself, herself, or others by owning or possessing” guns.
Remarked CAL-FFL’s Combs, “In a fit of circular logic, AB 1014 makes the very exercise of Constitutional rights, like purchasing guns or knives, evidence supporting the issuance of a restraining order that would strip a person of those same rights. It’s absolutely insane.”
But the restraining orders aren’t the only problem with the bill, according to CAL-FFL. Assembly Bill 1014 would also mandate that courts order a “firearms seizure warrant” following a restraining order, forcing police and local law enforcement to “seize any firearms in the possession of the named person...from any place, or from any person in whose possession the firearm may be.”
CAL-FFL warned that the broad language of the seizure warrant could lead not only to midnight “no-knock” raids against the subject of the restraining order--who may not even know that their gun rights have been stripped away and that they are now a “prohibited person”--but also the homes of their friends and family, and even places of employment.
Combs believes that the bill’s language is ripe for abuse. “Cyber-bullies like Shannon Watts and her ‘Moms Demand Action’ extremists could simply go on Facebook or Twitter, grab a photo of you and your gun, and slap it on a restraining order request. There’s no criminal or civil penalty for filing false or vexatious reports and no provision for the recovery of damages and someone’s loss of rights. AB 1014 would make it open season on California gun owners.”
Combs continued, “On mere hearsay, an anti-gun judge could instigate a life-ending terror campaign against a gun owner and everyone who knows them.”
In a press release, Assemblymember Williams said that AB 1014 will “help prevent mass killings like the tragic Isla Vista rampage near UC Santa Barbara.” However, the Washington Post reported on Friday that “a half-dozen sheriff’s deputies knocked on Elliot Rodger’s door last month in response to concerns raised by his mother about his well-being,” but the “deputies did not check [California’s gun registration] database.”
Ironically, in spite of Elliot Rodger murdering three people with knives, AB 1014 targets only firearms.
“Even were AB 1014 law at the time of Rodger’s Hollywood-inspired killing spree, it simply wouldn’t have stopped the Isla Vista tragedy from happening,” noted Combs. “It doesn’t require the seizure of knives like those Rodger used to kill many of his victims, and budget-strapped local law enforcement agencies aren’t going to be able to dedicate all of their resources to the Legislature’s newest feel-good policy.”
State Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) followed the introduction of the restraining order legislation with a new push for his own gun control proposal, Senate Bill 53, that would mandate ammunition sales and purchase permits and ammunition registration.
“We will fight AB 1014 and SB 53 until they’re tossed in the scrap heap of history,” said Combs. “CAL-FFL will do whatever it takes to kill these bills.”