Supporters rally for ‘gun restraining order’ bill

Advocates of a bill that would create a “gun violence restraining order” system are stepping up their efforts in advance of a state Senate floor vote later this month.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, along with several Bay Area police chiefs and gun control advocates, rallied Monday morning outside the Emeryville Police Department in support of AB 1014. Skinner and Santa Barbara Democrats Assemblyman Das Williams and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson announced the bill soon after a May rampage at UC-Santa Barbara left six students dead.

“When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs, but almost nothing can now be done to get guns out of the hands of someone in crisis,” Skinner said in a news release Monday. “Parents, like the mother who tried to intervene, deserve an effective tool to help prevent these tragedies.”

Modeled on domestic violence laws, AB 1014 creates a process to intervene and potentially prohibit the purchase of firearms and/or remove firearms already in possession by a person who shows warning signs of a risk of violence. Law enforcement or family members would have the right to ask a judge to grant an order prohibiting firearms purchase or possession. Connecticut, Indiana and Texas have similar laws, Skinner’s office said.

Current law lets that process start only when therapists notify police that a client is at risk of committing a violent act. Family members can call police, but if no crime has been committed, or the individual doesn’t meet criteria for an involuntary civil commitment to mental health treatment, there isn’t anything police can do about that person’s firearms.

“AB 1014 fills an important gap in the law that prevents law enforcement from acting to prevent violence before it happens,” Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, a longtime gun-control advocate, said in Skinner’s news release. “This need has been obvious to law enforcement for years. But the time to act is now. The tragedy in Santa Barbara makes that obvious.”

The Senate Public Safety Committee approved the bill on a 5-2 vote June 24, and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved it Friday on a 5-0 vote with two Republicans not voting.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JohnW

    I can hardly wait to see what arguments the gun rights crowd comes up with to oppose this. In the meantime, it’s good to see that Kroger patrons in Texas are able to arm themselves against the many threats one is likely to encounter at the grocery store.


  • Tariq Shabazz

    Maybe these Twits can include knives, cars and machete’s
    too, since all of those were involved in the last several Santa Barbara County mass-murders?

    Yet another game play by the bark-eating liberal left that
    avoids what the real problem is: Lack of infrastructure, housing and staff to help the mentally ill in our society.
    When are these feel-good Twits going to stop wasting our
    time and human lives?
    Guns are completely illegal in Chicago and guess what?? It’s the murder capital of the USA.
    Mentally ill people that are not getting treatment is what the real problem is. Perhaps redirect public trust resources from paying healthy people not to work towards helping mentally ill would be a
    better idea towards saving lives and ensuring public safety?

    I bet the next thing Hannah “Duh” Jackson and her side-kicks propose will be to ensure oil rigs stay in our marine sanctuaries by preventing oil resource slant-drilling from (safer for the environment) shore based facilities….OOOPS; she already did in Senate Bill 1096.

  • Tariq Shabazz

    lil’Johnny. I agree, how crazy people are, you know, with wanting to have guns to defend themselves. I’m sure some hero like you would have prevented this from happening with your wit and good looks at a movie theater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Aurora_shooting
    Newsflash Johnny: There are crazy people everywhere that have been abandoned by society because our # 1 goal is to pay people $15.00 an hour to flip burgers and $30.00 an hour to sit at home on welfare. Oh yeah, dont forget that smoking weed is healthy, but cigarettes are bad. Our society is upside down Johnny, but you keep drinking your Cool-Aid and everything will be ok. 🙂

  • MichaelB

    Exactly what is a “warning sign” or “crisis” for violence? Who gets to contest/overturn the “order”, if anyone? This is easily subject to abuse.

    It’s no secret that so called “violence prevention advocates” (gun control supporters ) love to peddle the argument that any law abiding citizen who has a gun is a “public safety threat” in disguise regardless of what they are doing. And that getting rid of guns in circulation (regardless who has them) is a “good” thing.

    I can hardly wait to see what “progressives” come up with next to supposedly “prevent” violence or what kind of accusation they will make that someone who owns a gun is not “worthy”. A speeding ticket? An unpaid credit card bill? Someone who is overweight?

  • JohnW

    Hold on there, T.S. Seems we agree about the mental health problem. At least in the case of shootings at schools, movie theaters, temples etc. Not so much in the case of gang and “rage” shootings.

    Here’s where your argument breaks down. The “gun restraining order” bill that is the topic of this post is all about keeping guns out of the hands, or removing them from the hands of people with known severe mental illness. Surely you are not opposed to that!

    Yes, it would be wonderful to provide comprehensive and effective treatment of severe mental illness, However, until that fine day arrives, keeping guns away from people with severe mental disorders is our only option. Also, the NRA, GOA, etc. bringing up mental health is only a boldly hypocritical diversion. “Gun rights” advocacy generally comes from people on the political right, who generally oppose “big government spending,” like spending on mental health research and treatment, until it becomes a convenient talking point to oppose gun regulations.

    As for theater shootings, most people agree that a house full of people “packing” in Aurora would have accomplished little other than adding to the chaos, especially considering the body armor the shooter was wearing.

    I don’t need reminders about theatre and school shootings. I was watching live TV coverage in my office just a few miles away from Columbine while the shootings were still underway and people were running out of the school. I used to live in an apartment complex in Aurora not far from the theater. I didn’t personally know anybody involved in either event but have friends who did.

    However, since you brought up the subject of theater shootings, don’t forget about this one. (check out the link). This was the spontaneous shooting equivalent of “road rage” and had nothing to do with mental illness. If the guy in Florida had not taken a gun to the theater, nothing would have happened.


    Finally, the link in my other post was about a guy taking an assault-style rifle with him to grocery shopping. First Amendment or not, that is just bat-s*** freaking A-hole crazy.

  • JohnW

    Oops. I meant “Second Amendment/

  • Elwood

    There’s something about Nancy Skinner that makes my skin crawl. If she’s for it, I’m agin it.

    As another poster asked, who gets to make the determination who’s nuts and who isn’t?

    In Skinner’s warped mind, anyone who owns a gun is nuts.

  • BeautifulAmerica

    ANY excuse to take away our right to protect ourselves.
    Vote these commicrats OUT !!!
    These phonies do not care about YOU, they care about their own lust for power.

  • JohnW

    Is this you in this picture?

    Those moms at the grocery stores can be really pushy. Definitely need to be able to protect against them.