Assemblymember Das Williams’s gun-violence restraining-order bill, AB 1014, earned the support of four of the supervisors on Tuesday. The measure — introduced five days after the Isla Vista murders — would enable family members to seek temporary restrictions on gun ownership and purchases if they provide enough evidence that their loved one (spouse, partner, parent, child, or even roommate) poses a danger to himself or herself or others.
The law, which passed the State Assembly by an overwhelming majority and will head to the State Senate floor soon, would leave the decision up to a judge and would allow the person in question to challenge the order. If granted, the restraining order would last 14 days but could be extended for up to a year. Those who violate their order would have their ban extended to five years and would face misdemeanor charges; such charges would also apply to those who make false reports.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley said she backs the bill — district attorneys would be notified of all orders in their county — and encouraged the supervisors to do the same. In a somewhat surprising move, Supervisor Peter Adam — a registered gun owner himself — added his name to the list of supporters. He said the bill made him “queasy” (he questioned the discretion of the judges, noting his sour history with civil lawsuits) but said, with some “trepidation,” he would back it. “I’m not sure this would have prevented the incident in Isla Vista,” he continued, not wanting to comment further until the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the rampage concludes.
Supervisor Doreen Farr, whose district includes Isla Vista, said the bill could help parents whose mentally ill children are over 18. “This is very straightforward,” she said. “Clearly there’s a gap here that needs to be filled.” Supervisor Janet Wolf said the bill would allow family members to “take a difficult step when they feel that step is necessary to protect their loved one or the public.” Declining to take a position, Supervisor Steve Lavagnino based his abstention on concerns about how the board would deal with changes to the bill and how law enforcement would deal with the “inherently dangerous” task of taking someone’s guns away.