Police allowed to yank guns like they do driver's licenses? That's an ominous scenario ...
Lawmakers in California trying to act in the face of the Isla Vista shooting and stabbing spree that left seven dead, including the suspect, have brought forward a bill to delay gun permits for those whose family and friends call and complain to police about a possible mental disorder.
Democrat state Assemblyman Das Williams said the bill is aimed at stopping another rampage like the one near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus last weekend, committed reportedly by a man, 22, with known mental health issues, CNN reported.
Under the proposal, family members, friends and other intimates would be given the ability to call police and ask for intervention with their loved ones suffering from mental health issues. Police would then be given a wider berth than present law gives to investigate and draw conclusions from their investigations -- including the ability to ask a judge to issue an order that would prevent that loved one from buying or possessing any types of firearms, CNN reported.
Williams said the subject of this court order would have an opportunity to plead his case for gun ownership rights at a hearing. He also said he sees a good chance for this measure to pass.
"If I was in Congress, I would be much more daunted about getting this passed," Mr. Williams said, to CNN. "I think here in California, people have determined that enough is enough. We're sick and tired of people dying in mass killings."
Current California law allows family members to ask police to intervene, but after that, police can't take action unless a crime's been committed or unless the subject of the complaint displays outlandishly erratic behavior in the presence of the officer. In those instances, the officer might pursue an involuntary civil commitment to a mental institution, CNN reported.
One legal mind likened the proposal as giving the police only the same power they have with driving law violators.
"There's no mechanism for the police or for the public or for a mental health professional to basically say, 'we need to take a look at this individual,' just like we might yank somebody's driver's license for acting recklessly," said CNN legal analyst Mel Robbins, who was a public defender.