Sacramento, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Friday to expand the state’s so-called “red flag” laws into the broadest in the nation.
The new laws will allow employers, co-workers, and teachers to seek gun violence restraining orders against other people, KNSD reported.
It will also allow police, immediate family members, and roommates to ask a judge to temporarily confiscate guns and ammunition from anyone they think could be a danger to themselves or someone else, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“California has outperformed the rest of the nation, because of our gun safety laws, in reducing the gun murder rate substantially compared to the national reduction,” the governor bragged as he signed 15 gun-related pieces of legislation. “No state does it as well or comprehensively as the state of California, and we still have a long way to go.”
He said the new laws would guarantee continued success, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“This is another tool in the toolkit from those that know individuals the most,” Newsom said. “What’s inevitable is you’re going to see these expansions in other parts of the country and I think this will also expand the debate in Congress.”
The new laws also expanded the length of time that gun violence restraining orders could remain in effect, from one year to five years, and gave judges the power to issue search warrants at the same time they issue the restraining orders, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Gun owners will still be able to petition the court to reduce the length of the restraining order.
Another law sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting will create a way for people to voluntarily relinquish their guns without having to go to court, the Associated Press reported.
Ting said current law was a waste of time because it required gun owners who forfeited their guns voluntarily to still endure a court hearing.
One of the new statutes makes people who already have restraining orders in other states subject to the same restrictions in California, the Associated Press reported.
Seventeen states and Washington, DC have similar gun restraining order laws, but the latest initiative signed by Newsom will give California the broadest laws on the books when they take effect on Jan. 1.
For example, Hawaii allows medical professionals, educators, and co-workers to petition for gun restraining orders, but it doesn’t permit employers the same privilege, KNSD reported.
And Maryland allows health care providers to petition for gun restraining orders, but in the nearby nation’s capital, only mental health providers may petition.
New York permits petitions from school administrators, KNSD reported.
Gun rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have found themselves strange bedfellows in this battle, because both groups think California’s new gun control laws are over-reaching.
The ACLU called the bill “a significant threat to civil liberties” because restraining orders can be requested before gun owners have a chance to contest them, KNSD reported.
One of the pieces of legislation that Newsom signed has been called discriminatory, the Associated Press reported.
Assembly Bill 893 prohibits gun and ammunition sales specifically at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
“Banning a gun show on just one state-owned property, but not on all is proof positive that this is discrimination based on political bias and has nothing to do with safety,” San Diego County Gun Owners PAC Executive Director Michael Schwartz said. “We are opposed to discrimination against a group of law-abiding citizens who are simply practicing their civil rights.”
Other pieces of gun-related legislation signed by Newsom included a law that requires gun parts used to build guns to be sold only through a licensed manufacturer, limits gun buyers to one semiautomatic centerfire rifle per month and raises the purchase age to 21, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
New measures also require gun manufacturers to put a suicide hotline number on packaging.