Surprise: California Has A Gun Control Law That Wasn’t Used That Could Have Stopped Thousand Oaks Shooting

In the wake of the Thousand Oaks shooting, the gun grabbers were out there calling for more gun control. California is, of course, one of the most restrictive states for private ownership of firearms. They literally have everything that Democrats have been calling for, and more. Yet, even the hyper-left Huffington Post noticed something

California Has A Law That Might’ve Prevented The Thousand Oaks Shooting. It Wasn’t Used.

Few might have been able to predict that Ian David Long would walk into a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday night, and open fire on patrons, killing 12 and wounding dozens more before turning the gun on himself.

But it would be inaccurate to say there weren’t warning signs. In fact, Long appears to have had the very sort of red flags in his past that might have been used to keep him away from firearms under a 2014 California law. Authorities haven’t released the full details of Long’s prior involvement with law enforcement, so we don’t yet know why the law wasn’t used. It’s only clear that it wasn’t.

(many paragraphs on Long’s history of conflict and mental health issues, which is relevant towards this)

While Long was determined not to qualify for a 5150, there was another option to get guns away from him. Because 5150s are used only in the most extreme cases, California passed another law in 2014, following a deadly shooting spree in Isla Vista, intended to temporarily remove guns from people who pose a danger to themselves or others. California is now one of more than a dozen states with these so-called “red flag” laws on the books. (snip)

Just weeks before the Isla Vista shooter went on his rampage, his family called police to check in on him. After finding him “courteous and polite,” officers decided it wouldn’t be appropriate to issue a 5150 hold, even though he’d posted videos online expressing a desire to commit violence against women. Advocates of the red flag law fought successfully for the creation of another tool to get guns away from potentially dangerous people, even if their behavior might not technically be the result of a mental health crisis.

Under California’s red flag law, family members, roommates and law enforcement officers can petition the court to remove firearms from individuals who have displayed violent behavior. A judge will then hold a hearing to review evidence and decide whether to order the gun owner to surrender their firearms and stay away from all guns. Those restraining orders can last up to a year, and can be extended further based on additional evidence.

When you add everything up, this was exactly the reason red flag laws were passed. Many who 2nd Amendment supporters worry about over-reach with the passage of the laws, but, this is what they’re for. Exactly this. Someone who is having issues, especially mental ones, and threatening violence.

Authorities haven’t said why such a restraining order wasn’t obtained. But Wilcox suggested a few possibilities. Deputies with the sheriff’s office may not have understood how this process works, or perhaps weren’t aware of the law, which has only been in effect since 2016. Alternatively, they might have known about it but determined that petitioning for a restraining order wouldn’t have been appropriate given what they knew about Long. It’s even possible that officers did file a petition for a gun violence restraining order, only to have it rejected by a judge. (snip)

“What we are seeing in the state is there is a large problem of agencies not being well-informed or well-trained on this law,” said Allison Anderman, managing attorney of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

None of that says anything good about passing lots of laws that may or may not be enforced. But, hey, let’s pass even more laws. What are they? What else can be passed in California? Will they next restrict the caliber to, say, .22LR only? Or just do away with guns with magazines? Revolvers only? Or just ban firearms altogether?

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