Like many other states, California is struggling with laws designed to protect domestic violence victims from gun violence. Currently, state law requires subjects of domestic violence restraining orders to relinquish their weapons. Under the law, the subject may either sell the firearms to a dealer or turn them over to local authorities. This is supposed to happen within 24 hours of the order’s issuance.
The state also places severe restrictions on the purchase or possession of ammunition by restraining order subjects. Officers may confiscate weapons in plain view when responding to a domestic abuse complaint. They may also seize weapons they find during a consent search. If convicted of a felony, a person in California may not own a firearm at all.
Domestic assault prevention advocates say, however, that enforcing weapons restrictions for restraining order subjects is extraordinarily difficult. Although subjects must provide proof of a weapon sale, departments don’t act if the subject claims the gun was sold. That leaves domestic abuse victims and restraining order subjects alike in a difficult position.
According to the Department of Justice, more than 10,000 Californians who have lost their gun ownership privileges still possess firearms. Currently, only one California county funds efforts to secure weapons during domestic violence cases. San Mateo County officials say, however, that their efforts have saved lives. In the first three years of the program, there have been no domestic assault homicides. Prior to the program, the county averaged one domestic homicide annually.
Ventura Domestic Violence Lawyer
When you face domestic abuse charges, hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. The stakes during a domestic assault arrest are high. Don’t settle for anything less than the best representation and counsel.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County domestic violence case.
Photo Credit: Beau Lebens, via Flickr.com