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California’s “Red Flag Law” May Be Expanding

Gun control and who can have their rights to carry may be further restricted thanks to a bill that’s been advanced in the California Assembly. Earlier this month on Monday, May 6th, California Assembly passed a bill that will add employers and co-workers to the list of people that can file to take away someone’s guns.

AB 61, was quickly passed with a vote of 54-16. In the democrat heavy California assembly, there was virtually no stopping its passing. The measure will expand upon who may file for a Gun Violence Restraining Order, giving more individuals the freedom to restrict others from their every day right to carry.

This devastating blow to gun owners is just another measure in California that is making it difficult to keep possession of our Second Amendment rights. While it instills in the anti-gun community the ability to strip us of the right to carry, for reasons that may be absurd, the bill will head to the state Senate to be voted on, and everyone is has been talking about how this will affect California gun owners and specifically those that have a conceal and carry permit. The answer is significant.

As the current law sits, gun owners can have their firearms seized for up to 21 days, if they are viewed to be a “significant danger.” However, the order can be extended for up to a year, depending on the situation. Those that file a false report that results in a gun owner being stripped of their guns will carry a misdemeanor offense. But is this enough to deter someone from filing a false statement? The ramifications of filing are only a misdemeanor with a slap on the wrist as far as punishment is concerned.

A Gun Violence Restraining Order is currently available only to law enforcement and immediate family members. If the AB 61 measure passes in the Senate, it will move to include school employees including teachers and counselors, or a person’s employer and co-workers. If this bill were to pass, who says where it will end? It may move on to allow just anyone to file a GVRO on anyone just because they dislike a person. From 2016-2018, over 600 Gun Violence Restraining Orders have been issued. What kind of jump in GVRO’s can we expect if employers, co-workers, teachers, and other officials are given the ability to file?

Perhaps the biggest concern is that giving more people the ability to take away a person’s right to have guns in their home or the right to carry, opens up a slippery slope. This new expansion will essentially take the blame off the government for infringing our second amendment rights and put it in the hands of the people. In a state where democratic rule and gun control is the majority decision, there is cause for worry.

Second Amendment groups like Firearms Policy Coalition, have warned that bills like these are pathways to gun confiscation. There is no promise that the seizure of guns will only pertain to legitimate circumstances. With the new bill now at the Senate, we can only wait to see what the outcome will be.

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