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Isla Vista Families, CA Moms Call On Legislature And Governor Brown To Support Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill

Eleven Isla Vista Family Members Release Letter in Support of AB 1014; Urge Swift Passage and Delivery to Governors’ Desk for Signing

(Sacramento, CA) — Today, family members of victims from the Isla Vista shooting, primary sponsors of AB 1014, law enforcement, California members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and others gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to call on the State Legislature and Governor Brown to support AB 1014. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill three months after the shooting in Isla Vista where a man killed six people — even after his parents had contacted police when he displayed dangerous and threatening behavior.

The press conference comes just one day after family members of three college students killed in the recent Isla Vista shooting released a letter asking legislative leaders and Governor Brown to support AB 1014, legislation that would allow law enforcement or immediate family members to present evidence to a judge and obtain a gun violence restraining order when a person poses a significant danger to self or others by having a firearm.  The letter can be found here.

Speakers at the press conference today included: Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, a victim of the recent shooting in Isla Vista; Bob Weiss, father of Veronika Weiss, a victim of the recent shooting in Isla Vista; Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-15), lead author of AB 1014; Assemblymember Das Williams (D-37), lead author of AB 1014; Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19), principal co-author of AB 1014; Ken James, Chief of Police from Emeryville; Sara Smirin, California Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America; and Amanda Wilcox, Legislation and Policy Chair of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign, whose daughter Laura was killed in a rampage shooting by a mentally disturbed individual in January 2001.

“Many have heard me say the words ‘Not One More’ should be killed by preventable gun violence. AB 1014 provides one answer to make this a reality,” said Richard Martinez, father of Isla Vista shooting victim Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez. “Nothing can bring back the life of my son, but enacting this bill can help prevent future tragedies like the shooting in Isla Vista.”

“I speak for my daughter since she can no longer speak for herself. I may never get to see her graduate college, but I can work in her honor to make sure others don’t feel the pain I do,” said Bob Weiss, father of Isla Vista shooting victim Veronika Weiss. “I urge our state legislative leaders and Governor to stand up for public safety and do the right thing by enacting this bill that will save lives.”

“Family members are often the first to spot the warning signs when someone is in crisis,” said Assemblymember Skinner. “AB 1014 provides an effective tool to get guns out of the hands of loved ones to avoid these tragedies.”

“The tragedy in Isla Vista is a horrific example of how our mental health laws and gun violence prevention laws are not working together and this bill will help close the gap and provide the necessary legal tools to empower immediate family members and law enforcement to protect loved ones and the public from the dangers of gun violence,” said Assemblymember Williams.

“For years, law enforcement has seen a gap in the law, and been frustrated by the fact that we can’t take action until after gun violence has devastated our families and communities, when it’s too late, said Emeryville Chief of Police Ken James. “AB 1014 fills that gap, giving law enforcement and family members a way to prevent gun violence before it happens.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Under AB 1014, law enforcement officers or immediate family members could present evidence to a judge that a person presents a significant danger of injury to himself or others – and the judge can order the person temporarily prohibited from buying or possessing firearms. A person is only prohibited when a court determines they are too dangerous to have guns, and the bill directs judges to consider clear indicators of potential violence when making that decision.
  • The Gun Violence Restraining Order process in AB 1014 mirrors the existing process for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs), where courts weigh evidence about whether individuals are too dangerous to be allowed near their intimate partners or children. As with DVROs, GVROs would be issued only for a short period before the restrained person is entitled to a court hearing—guaranteeing that the person receives due process.
  • Under this bill, any person who files for a gun violence restraining order, knowing the information to be false or otherwise with the intent to harass, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Connecticut and Indiana already have similar laws allowing law enforcement to petition for the removal of guns from dangerous people on an emergency basis.