California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed into law15 gun-related bills to tighten the state’s already-stringent Second Amendment restrictions, Among them, one expands a “red flag” law to allow co-workers, employers and educators to seek gun violence restraining orders against firearms owners they fear are a danger to themselves and others.
While several states have similar “red flag’ laws in place, California’s new legislation is broader and will allow not only law enforcement and family members to file for gun violence restraining orders, but also educators, employers and co-workers. This, according to the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco.
“With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies,” Ting said, adding that the expansion should allow more awareness and give others the opportunity to act.
Co-workers who want to request a gun violence restraining order will have to have “substantial and regular interactions” with gun owners, and co-workers and school employees will need to get approval from their employers or school administrators before seeking a restraining order.
Those seeking the orders will be required to file sworn statements detailing their reasons for doing so.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the bill, saying it “poses a significant threat to civil liberties” because a restraining order can be sought before a gun owner has an opportunity to dispute the request.
Additionally, those making a request under the new law may “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment,” the ACLU said.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its state affiliate, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, opposed the new restrictions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Newsom signed another measure that will allow gun violence restraining orders to last between one and five years. It allows judges to issue search warrants simultaneous with the granting of a restraining order.
Gun owners will be able to petition to have the restrictions lifted sooner.
The Democratic governor also signed a law that will limit Californians to purchasing one long rifle per month, according to The Sacramento Bee.
This law expands the current legislation that applies to handguns, and it will prevent people under 21 from purchasing semi-automatic rifles and other similar firearms.
The collective measures “tweak” the state’s current laws and “improve implementation,” according to Amanda Wilcox, spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“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,” Newsom said as he signed the legislation. “No state does it as well or comprehensively as the state of California, and we still have a long way to go.”
Between 1993 and 2017, there was a 62 percent decline in California’s gun murder rate, nearly double the national 34 percent, according to Newsom.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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