California Senators Propose New Legislation to Strengthen Red Flag Gun Laws and Prevent Access to Firearms by Potential Threats

San Diego, California – Two California senators recently introduced legislation aimed at strengthening red flag gun laws. These laws allow individuals to petition a court to confiscate firearms from someone they believe poses a potential threat to themselves or others, often a family member or the police.

Under red flag gun laws in states like California, community members must first file a petition in court to initiate the process of confiscating firearms from an individual of concern. A judge then reviews the petition and decides whether to grant or deny the request, which includes removing guns and prohibiting new firearm purchases. The individual in question has the right to appeal the decision.

If the judge grants the request, the duration for which firearms are taken from the individual typically lasts up to one year, although this can vary depending on the specific case.

State Senators Nancy Skinner and Catherine Blakespear announced their new legislation, SB 899, which aims to establish uniform standards for California’s gun violence restraining order law. The goal of this measure is to make it easier for California courts to ensure that individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others no longer have access to firearms.

SB 899 would create consistent standards for California’s red flag laws, aligning them with the recently enacted rules for the state’s domestic violence restraining order law. Currently, only domestic violence restraining orders require courts to follow up on whether a firearm was surrendered as mandated by law. This legislation seeks to extend this practice to all types of restraining orders, thereby keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not possess them.

Sen. Skinner, who authored California’s first red flag law a decade ago, emphasized the importance of preventing gun violence. The intention behind AB 1014, the initial red flag law, was to remove firearms from individuals who posed a threat to themselves or others. By giving courts and law enforcement the tools to ensure the surrender of guns, SB 899 aims to make these gun violence prevention laws function as intended.

In conclusion, the proposed legislation introduced by State Senators Nancy Skinner and Catherine Blakespear seeks to enhance red flag gun laws in California. By establishing uniform standards and expanding the requirement for surrendering firearms, the legislation aims to prevent individuals deemed a threat from having access to guns.