Following every mass shooting, school or otherwise, society is forced to ask some pretty hard questions about gun laws. It is one of the most politicized debates in modern times; and, states’ rights and the 2nd Amendment are evoked to keep gun laws the way they are today. It is often the case that when a violent crime cannot be easily explained, people are apt to question the perpetrator’s mental state. Often, those who commit heinous crimes have a documented history with a mental disorder.
A question that is asked regularly is should mental illness disqualify Americans for gun ownership? Not an easy question to answer, even though answering “yes” seems like a no-brainer to millions of people.
In the wake of recent mass shootings, those familiar with the shooter will report knowing that there was something wrong with the individual before the crime was committed. Some even go so far to call and warn authorities that someone may injure them self or others with a firearm; callers ask that the individual in question have their guns confiscated. Officers who are called to look in on someone who may be a risk to others usually find that without significant evidence that a crime is imminent, taking away their guns is not a possibility.
Assembly Bill 2888
In California, a law was passed in 2016 that gives families and officers of law the ability to request a gun-violence restraining order be placed on an individual who is exhibiting signs that they may commit an act of violence, CBS News reports. Men and women deemed at risk to their self or others are required to surrender their weapons for 21-days; the probationary period can be extended for up to a year.
Some lawmakers felt that the legislation didn’t go far enough, seeing as family members and law enforcement don’t always recognize the signs of distress in time to take action. Last month, the state Senate passed Assembly Bill 2888, which expands the current law to allow more people to raise the alarm about another, potentially dangerous individual, according to the article. AB 2888 will enable co-workers and school employees to request a firearm restraining order.
“Prior to February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, teachers and administrators expressed increasing concern about the gunman’s behavior at school” said Rep. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the author of AB 2888. “We need to give California schools more tools to prevent another campus tragedy.”
Orange County Criminal Defense
Attorney Ronald Brower has more than three decades of experience practicing criminal defense in California. Please contact our office to discuss legal representation and to learn more about how The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower can advocate for your or a loved one.