Santa Barbara County has availed itself of California’s recent gun-violence restraining-order law — passed in the wake of Elliot Rodger’s 2014 Isla Vista rampage — 20 times since 2016. Of the state’s 58 counties, only Los Angeles has deployed the new law more frequently. Ventura County, by contrast, has used it four times since the law went into effect. The order allows immediate family members or law enforcement officers to seek court orders to seize any firearms possessed by individuals suspected of posing a danger to themselves or others. It’s unclear the number of guns seized in Santa Barbara County, where all of the restraining orders were initiated by law enforcement and none by family members.
Connecticut is the first state to enact such legislation — in 1999 — where one study concluded that for every 10-20 warrants served, one suicide is prevented. The same study found that for every warrant served, seven guns were seized on average. One third of those served with a high-risk warrant received mental-health treatment. Congressmember Salud Carbajal is pushing for a federal version of the gun-violence restraining order. Republican congressional candidate Justin Fareed supports the concept of the restraining order as well.