New California Gun Law the First of Its Kind in the U.S.
Good job, Richard Martinez and Peter Rodger.
You might remember the names, or they might sound familiar. In May 2014, Christopher Martinez was killed by Elliot Roger in a spree that took the lives of 6 others and wounded 13. Family members of Isla Vista killer, Elliot Rodger, had reported their concerns to Santa Barbara law enforcement after the 22-year-old posted videos of himself threatening violence online. In response, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies visited Rodger’s apartment just three weeks before the murders and performed a police procedure known as a “welfare check.” The deputies found Elliot to be polite and amenable.
The deputies did not know then that Elliot legally owned three handguns, nor had they viewed the threatening videos that Elliot made.
Richard Martinez, Christopher’s dad, was very vocal about gun violence, saying:
“Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say stop this madness? We should say to ourselves, not one more.”
Subsequently, Richard Martinez, and Elliot’s dad, Peter Rodger, met. Martinez told ABC News affiliate KEYT-TV, “We plan to work together so other families such as ours will not suffer as ours have. This was a private conversation between grieving fathers who’ve reached common ground.”
In response to the deadly rampage near the UC Santa Barbara campus on May 23rd, a Bill was introduced in California. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Bill into law. It’s a landmark gun control bill making California the first state in the country to allow those who suspect that a close relative might pose a threat to seek a restraining order that would confiscate any firearms.
The new law allows immediate family members or law enforcement officers to approach a judge for a “gun violence restraining order,” which would temporarily confiscate guns from someone they believe may pose a danger to themselves or others. The restraining orders can last up to 21 days and a hearing must be held within 14 days, at which point the term of the restraining order can be extended to up to a year.
Eleven family members of three of the students killed in Isla Vista publicly voiced support for the bill in an open letter to legislators.
The Bill faced opposition from several gun rights advocacy groups including the National Rifle Association, California Rifle and Pistol Association, Gun Owners of California and the Calguns Foundation.
“Our concern is not so much what they intended to do; our concern is with the method they put in place to address people with mental or emotional issues,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told the Associated Press. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”
Richard Martinez disagrees, stating;
“Nothing we can do will bring back Christopher, but I’m confident this new law will help save lives and prevent other families from experiencing this same kind of tragedy. States around the country should be exploring this life-saving measure”
Another piece of legislation signed into law Tuesday requires law enforcement agencies to enact new rules that encourage officers to consult the state’s database of legal gun purchases when performing a welfare check of someone who may be at risk of violence. The exact policies are to be determined at the local level That law was introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
In addition to the two laws, Governor Brown signed another law requiring pellet guns or toy guns to be brightly colored. That Bill was introduced in response to deputy sheriff Erick Gelhaus killing 13 year-old Andy Lopez. Gelhaus contends that he thought the pellet gun carried by Andy was an assault rifle.
Posted on 10/06/2014, in Heroes, Potpourri, Trials & Cases and tagged Andy Lopez, California, Christopher Martinez, Governor Jerry Brown, new gun control law, Peter Rodger, Richard Martinez. Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.