In May of this year, law enforcement reported that a 22-year-old man in California killed a total of six people at three different locations. According to the Los Angeles Times, the man stabbed his three roommates, opened fire in a sorority house and then shot a college student at a deli. He then opened fire on pedestrians while driving his vehicle and eventually took his own life. Allegedly, the young man’s mother said she knew her son had been making violent threats, but she felt there was little she could do to prevent the mass shooting.
The incident prompted a new law in California that enables people to secure a gun violence restraining order against someone they suspect may commit a crime. Minnesota lawmakers have yet to take up such legislation, and it is important to note that the California law could have adverse effects on law-abiding citizens.
How the California law works
A first-of-its-kind law, the California legislation will permit immediate family members as well as law enforcement agencies to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from people who have been making violent threats or are otherwise deemed dangerous. The restraining order could last anywhere from 21 days to a full year, pending the outcome of a hearing. In other states, such as Indiana, Connecticut and Texas, law enforcement are able to seize guns from people they feel are dangerous as long as they have a court order.
Critics of the California law state that it is a violation of the Second Amendment and people’s right to bear arms. According to Fox News, the executive director of Gun Owners of California said that the method put in place to address people who have mental or emotional issues is insufficient and will jeopardize law-abiding citizens who own firearms.
Minnesota gun laws
According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, people are permitted to carry a gun provided that they meet the following requirements:
- They are age 21 or older
- They complete an application
- They must not be a member of a gang or otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm
- They must be a resident of the county where the application is completed
- They must have completed firearms training
Minnesota statutes outline forfeiture laws that state that a court can order the seizure of certain property, like firearms, if it is associated with a designated offense, such as crimes committed with a gun. The key difference between Minnesota laws and the California order is that in Minnesota, someone must have first committed a crime in order to lose their property, and in California, it is possible that innocent people could unnecessarily lose their right to bear arms. Anyone with questions regarding Minnesota gun laws should consult with an attorney.