Das Williams’ new gun control bill: the devil is in the details

Editorial

 

 

By George Miller

caguncontrolMost of us were horrified by the orgy of murder perpetrated by Elliot Rodger up at UCSB (Isla Vista) a few months ago, via knife, automobile and gun.  That this disturbed young man was allowed to stumble through life without getting the competent professional help he so sorely needed is a shame. District 37 CA Rep. Das Williams (D, Santa Barbara) new 11,519 word gun control bill (SB1014) on gun violence restraining orders will, unfortunately, not address this and is directed to political “optics,” not real problems.

I thought there was already legislation in place to get court orders to prohibit/confiscate guns to people legally deemed dangerous. There is, but a hearing is required to do so. Under this new bill, an obvious difference that my legally untrained eyes could see, no hearing is required anymore, until AFTER a search and confiscation- just a judge’s opinion. Also, parents/relatives’ views would have more weight, although exactly how wasn’t clear to me.

Of course, most people don’t realize that CA law enforcement already routinely demands and confiscates firearms upon reports of domestic altercations. I have a friend whose gun was confiscated merely on the word of a neighbor who police claimed heard a fight (no allegations of guns involvement). His (well-secured) gun was confiscated over his objections and that of his girlfriend, supposedly the object of his wrath. It took him years of effort to get it back. There is obvious potential for abuse under such a system.

The bill would also require law enforcement personnel to check for existing gun prohibitions on people they were asked look up and take action on. It should have been done but never was done by Santa Barbara police in Rodger’s case. So, common sense, it seems, would now have to be legislated.

The devil is in the details

When I looked up the bill and actually read it, I learned that it is a Liberal grab bag of new restrictions on People’s Rights.

The first obvious problem with this proposed law is that it would have only subtracted one weapon from Mr. Rodger’s arsenal, leaving knives, cars and many other tools of death.

Next, it would also eliminate the formality of a hearing first, where one can confront accusers and weigh evidence from multiple sides.

An action by the Fish and Game Dept. against a citizen would now subject him/her to a search warrant of the premises. What does this have to do with restraining those with mental problems?

This proposed law would also be invoked if someone refuses to submit to a blood sample under CA vehicle code.

14c contains another interesting provision:

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or (b), no search warrant shall issue for any documentary evidence in the possession or under the control of any person who is a lawyer as defined in Section 950 of the Evidence Code, a physician as defined in Section 990 of the Evidence Code, a psychotherapist as defined in Section 1010 of the Evidence Code, or a member of the clergy as defined in Section 1030 of the Evidence Code, and who is not reasonably suspected of engaging or having engaged in criminal activity related to the documentary evidence for which a warrant is requested unless the following procedure has been complied with: ….

Unlimited jurisdiction?  14j:  (j) In addition to any other circumstance permitting a magistrate to issue a warrant for a person or property in another county, when the property or things to be seized consist of any item or constitute any evidence that tends to show a violation of Section 530.5, the magistrate may issue a warrant to search a person or property located in another county if the person whose identifying information was taken or used resides in the same county as the issuing court.

Here is a downright stupid provision: 18i20: (B) File a copy of the receipt described in subparagraph (A) with the law enforcement agency that served the gun violence restraining order. Failure to timely file a copy of the receipt shall constitute a violation of the restraining order. Why would this be necessary, when that agency issued it in the first place?

It is telling what was deleted from 18120: (d)If the restrained person declines to relinquish possession of any firearms or ammunition based on the assertion of the right against self-incrimination, as provided by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 15 of Article I of the California Constitution, the court shall notify the district attorney, and, upon the request of the district attorney, may grant use immunity for the act of relinquishing the firearms or ammunition required under this section.

Orders may not even be in writing!  18140. A law enforcement officer who requests a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order shall do all of the following:

(a) If the order is obtained orally, memorialize the order of the court on the form approved by the Judicial Council.

18145….

 (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the petition for a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order shall be obtained by submitting a written petition to the court.

(2) If time and circumstances do not permit the submission of a written petition, a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order may be issued in accordance with the procedures for obtaining an oral search warrant described in Section 1526.

Some provisions are quite subjective, for example: 18155….(A) The unlawful and reckless use, display, or brandishing of a firearm by the subject of the petition.  An anti-gunner’s perception of “brandishing” might be quite subjective.

You might be surprised at who would be authorized to confiscate guns: (8) A peace officer, as defined in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 830.32. (http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/2/3/4.5/s830.32) and (9) A peace officer, as defined in Section 830.5. (http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/2/3/4.5/s830.5)

There are no provisions for the expeditious return of materials confiscated/surrendered, if an order should expire or be reversed. It should be obvious that a prompt return is in order, but there is already evidence that law enforcement does not respect that.

Conclusions

Of course the rationale of this whole bill is predicated on the common incorrect assumption that attacking potential tools of violence is preferable to addressing the cause of violence.  Maybe the bill should be extended to also include, knives, cars, clubs, poison, etc.

Progressive legislators are hoping to sneak this in under cover of an emotional, politically correct campaign.  Make your views known today to legislators and Governor Brown.

The real problem is the families and other developmental influences. Watch Rodger’s absentee father Peter blame the system and not be challenged by interviewer Barbara  Walters, brought out of retirement to interview him. Peter waited until his son had put his evil manifesto on the Internet and declared his intention to go postal before frantically driving to Santa Barbara in a futile, after the fact effort to prevent the massacre.

The left is pulling out all the stops to get the bill passed, with MSM newspapers and politicians alike touting it:

Senator Dianne Feinstein Urges California Leaders to Enact Commonsense Gun Safety Bill

http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/27/4090836/parents-of-slain-isla-vista-students.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/california-guns_n_5725656.html

http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/27/4090836/parents-of-slain-isla-vista-students.html

 Mr. Willians is running for re-election this year.

George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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2 Responses to Das Williams’ new gun control bill: the devil is in the details

  1. Citizen Reporter September 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    call Gov. Brown to tell him to veto this:

    Governor Jerry Brown
    c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Phone: (916) 445-2841
    Fax: (916) 558-3160

    email: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

    Reply

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