New California Law: Family Members Can Ask Judge to Take Away Guns

| by Michael Allen

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Tuesday that will allow family members to request that a judge remove guns from a relative whom they say is a threat.

The "Gun Violence Restraining Order" is supported by the victims' families and parents of Elliot Rodger, who went on a shooting spree in Santa Barbara, Calif., that killed seven people, reports the Associated Press.

"California, today, is a safer state because of this legislation," Peter Rodger, Elliot's father, said in a statement. "Let's hope other states follow."

California joins Connecticut, Indiana and Texas, which allow people to ask a judge to seize guns from family members whom they consider to be a danger.

Under the new California law, a gun restraining reason would have to signed by a family member under oath. If that person were to lie, then he or she could be charged.

According to, the law allows families and police to ask a judge to remove someone's guns for 21 days, but the court order can be extended up to a year.

The gun owner would also have a chance to tell a judge why he or she was not a danger.

"Nothing we can do will bring back Christopher, but I'm confident this new law will help save lives and prevent other families from experiencing this same kind of tragedy. States around the country should be exploring this life-saving measure," said Richard Martinez, father of Santa Barbara shooting victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez.

Sam Paredes, executive director of the pro-firearm Gun Owners of California, countered, "We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy."

Sources:, Associated Press (Image Credit: John McGrath)

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