CA Democrat Pushes for Secret Gun Confiscations

 
AB2607_presser

Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) urging passage of AB 2607.

A California legislator has done the seemingly impossible and united mental health professionals, gun rights organizations, and the ACLU against a proposed law. This legislation would open the door for people to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights without due process and based simply on an allegation from a co-worker, boss, or school official that they believe the person might be dangerous and might have access to a firearm.

Assemblymember Ting’s AB 2607 expands the categories of people who can apply for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) to include employers, co-workers, school employees, and any “mental health worker” who has seen or worked with a person in the prior six months. Hearings for GVRO’s are held ex parte, meaning that the subject is not present or able to contest the allegations against them. It is ridiculous that potentially hundreds of people would have the right to secretly petition the government to strip a citizen of a constitutional right without that citizen’s knowledge. Is this California in 2016 or the Soviet Union in the 1960s? If someone maliciously applies for a GVRO against a person there is little consequence to the reporter (a misdemeanor charge that would be difficult to prove), which would encourage harassment and abuse.

If the GVRO is granted, the first the subject will know about it is when law enforcement officers show up at their home to confiscate their firearms. It’s not a stretch to see how many ways such an interaction could go sideways and innocent people could be hurt or killed.

Firearms Policy Coalition’s Craig DeLuz illustrates this well:

The constitutional issues are just the tip of the iceberg with this ill-conceived law.

Because of its vague language, the bill could subject “mental health providers” to liability. In a letter to lawmakers, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists pointed out:

There is no clear guidance on when a provider could apply for a GVRO — is it if the patient is a harm to themselves or others or simply if the patient seems agitated or upset? The lack of clarity leads to misunderstandings, unnecessary breaches of confidentiality and frivolous (but damaging) lawsuits against providers.

Additionally, as CAMFT writes, there are already provisions in existing laws allowing providers to breach confidentiality and contact law enforcement if they feel a patient is a harm to themselves or others. And what is a “mental health worker?” Is it a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor, or does it also include any person who works at a mental health provider’s office or hospital?

On school campuses and in workplaces, such legislation could have a chilling effect. If a professor knows their student has a firearm, and the student then talks about having a difficult time after a breakup or failed exam, will that professor feel obligated to seek a GVRO against the student? Will a jealous co-worker attempt to obtain a GVRO out of spite?

Ting’s bill could be taken up this week in the California Assembly. With its clear constitutional issues and unanswered questions — and disapproval from across the spectrum of affected parties — California lawmakers should do the right thing (yes, I know that’s hoping for a lot) and throw this bill in the shredder, where it belongs.

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Glad I don’t live in CA.

    This is the sort of thing that really shows you how Background Checks are really just about gun registration and not about keeping guns out of the hands “bad people”.

    • #1
  2. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    I remember that the Clinton administration was proposing gun confiscation if someone was subject to a restraining order, and one of the arguments against its Constitutionality was that you could be subject to a restraining order without a normal trial or the ability to defend yourself in court.  I’m usually skeptical of “substantive due process” arguments, but wouldn’t Ting’s proposal deny a citizen of an enumerated right without due process of law?

    • #2
  3. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Quelle suprise!

    • #3
  4. kelsurprise Member
    kelsurprise
    @kelsurprise

    DocJay:Quelle suprise!

    Oui?

    Je m’excuse.  Thought someone called me.

    Here’s hoping the eventual vote surprises us more.

    • #4
  5. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Philip Ting’s latest endorsement:

    stalinfunny

    • #5
  6. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    If you live in California and are a gun owner, you should join the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA.org).  They are an NRA affiliate, but focused in California specifically.

    • #6
  7. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    Jennifer- First of, welcome to Ricochet!

    At this point, are there any polls regarding this bill’s popularity in California?

    • #7
  8. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Every one of the anti-firearm bills (this was just one of six still on the table) passed the assembly today.

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Too many Californians are careless with their rights. A few years back I mediated cases put on the non-related persons restraining order calendar (usually neighbor disputes not involving actual violence) in attempts to get the parties to make a private settlement of their dispute rather than going to hearing and obtaining a court determination and order. The standard order strips the restrained person of their rights to possess or use a gun even in self-defense for the period of the order (typically 1-3 years). Far too many defendants in these cases seemed not to care that by making a private agreement they could retain their rights and insisted on a hearing where they lost their rights.

    • #9
  10. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    of course, the actual result would be that gun owners would refuse to see therapists and MH professionals.

    There are always unforeseen consequences, and they are rarely good.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jennifer Van Laar: Is this California in 2016 or the Soviet Union in the 1960s?

    It’s California in 2016. The Soviet system was corrupt and abusive, but there were some good intentions and restraints that are completely lacking in California leftwingers.

    • #11
  12. wilber forge Inactive
    wilber forge
    @wilberforge

    Then ask, just who gets the “Get out of Gulag Free Card”. Barbara Boxer is packin’ and does anyone consider the woman sound of mind ?

    That aside, was there not another California Rep. that just ran afoul by gun running ? A Dem no less.

    Bollux –

    • #12
  13. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    wilber forge: That aside, was there not another California Rep. that just ran afoul by gun running ? A Dem no less.

    Leland Yee

    • #13
  14. Brian Wolf Coolidge
    Brian Wolf
    @BrianWolf

    Everyone keeps saying that gun rights won but more than 30 million people can be subjected to this kind of horrible law then we have not won the gun rights war.  This bill must be voted done and failing that it must be struck down.  Horrible, horrible idea.

    • #14
  15. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    About once a week there is a development in California that reaffirms my decision to flee that state in 2014.  It is rare that you can make a decision and get constant reinforcement that you were right.

    Now I can watch these things as a bemused observer from Nevada.  It’s all good, until the California lefties also start fleeing the catastrophe they have created, and then try to recreate it here.  But, in the famous words of Ted Kennedy, “we’ll drive off that bridge when we come to it.”

    Anyway, my answer to lefties who want to impose any kind of gun control regulations is always “that’s fine, as long as you are also willing to take away the Constitutional right to vote in the same manner.”  You should see them tie themselves up in knots trying to explain why it is fine to impose all kinds of background checks on gun ownership, but it is racist even to ask a voter to show ID before voting.  If a person is not qualified to own a pistol, then that person is not qualified to hand out the nuclear launch codes.

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Larry3435: You should see them tie themselves up in knots trying to explain why it is fine to impose all kinds of background checks on gun ownership, but it is racist even to ask a voter to show ID before voting. If a person is not qualified to own a pistol, then that person is not qualified to hand out the nuclear launch codes.

    Yes, it makes your head explode.

    • #16
  17. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    There’s probably a number of people reading this post who think “Well, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t live in California. Why should I care?”.

    The California Assembly is working on eliminitating one of the planks in the Bill of Rights. Which one is next? Why do you think it will stop at just California?

    Join or die, people. Join or die.

    • #17
  18. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Jennifer Van Laar:  a California native who survived 20 years on the East Coast before making it back to paradise.

    Man, weather and scenery must be hellava great up against the taxes, the rampant anti-Americanism and colossal idiocy like this.

    • #18
  19. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Kevin Creighton:There’s probably a number of people reading this post who think “Well, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t live in California. Why should I care?”.

    The California Assembly is working on eliminitating one of the planks in the Bill of Rights. Which one is next? Why do you think it will stop at just California?

    Join or die, people. Join or die.

    It seems dying is the preferred choice, worldwide, these days, Kevin. Official response to hundreds of sexual assaults by “migrants” across Europe on New Year’s Eve? “Well, perhaps we need to be more considerate of the sensibilities of our guests.”

    • #19
  20. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Here’s the votes: those who voted in favor should be run out of office.

    • #20
  21. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Is a GVRO for a person or a whole place? If I were to have a burning desire to rob George Clooney’s mansion, can I apply for a GVRO and disarm the whole place including his security detail?  Can a gangbanger disarm a potential rival with a GVRO before whacking him/her? Can an abusive husband disarm his ex-wife before stalking her? I am sure the “safeguards” in such a bill are as porous as the Mexican border and anybody can call an anonymous tip line and get a GVRO done. This would be a milder version of SWATting somebody.

    • #21
  22. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Here’s the votes: those who voted in favor should be run out of office.

    By whom? California voters? They voted these {CoC}holes into office.

    • #22
  23. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmerica
    @TeamAmerica

    Kevin Creighton:There’s probably a number of people reading this post who think “Well, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t live in California. Why should I care?”.

    The California Assembly is working on eliminitating one of the planks in the Bill of Rights. Which one is next? Why do you think it will stop at just California?

    Join or die, people. Join or die.

    Yes, because Northeast states like New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut usually mimic California’s policies.

    • #23
  24. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Metalheaddoc:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Here’s the votes: those who voted in favor should be run out of office.

    By whom? California voters? They voted these {CoC}holes into office.

    Should ≠ Will. Sadly.

    • #24
  25. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Great.  It’s tough enough to get troops/vets to get treatment for PTSD. Pass a law like this, watch the numbers drop.

    • #25
  26. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Boss Mongo:Great. It’s tough enough to get troops/vets to get treatment for PTSD. Pass a law like this, watch the numbers drop.

    Don’t you know that the Obama Administration sees vets as dangerous right wing extremists?

    • #26

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