Under a new California law, effective January 1, family members can ask a judge for a gun violence restraining order that would force relatives to temporarily give up their firearms for 21 days. The order can be extended for a full year after a hearing involving the relative.
Police can also seek such an order.
"I would much rather see members of families err on the side of seeking the order than second-guessing what they should have done in retrospect," said Feuer. He noted a judge can always deny the request.
Judges may consider a variety of factors in making a determination on a person's firearm, Feuer said, including:
- a recent threat or act of violence towards themselves or others
- a pattern of violent acts
- a conviction for multiple violent offenses
- the reckless brandishing of a firearm
- a history of abusing substances
He said when police seek a court order, seizure of weapons "could happen within an hour."
The Los Angeles Police Department is still working out protocols for responding to court orders won by relatives, Feuer said.