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City secures its 100th gun restraining order

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-02 17:54:28-05

The San Diego City Attorney's office said it has successfully separated 100 "unstable, irresponsible, and dangerous" people from their guns.

City Attorney Mara W. Elliott's office announced Thursday that it obtained its 100th Gun Violence Restraining Order. The temporary orders, issued by a judge, are available through a 2016 state law that aims to prevent gun violence before it happens.

"In the past you'd have to wait for something awful to happen in order to act," Elliott said. "We don't have to prove a crime has yet occurred."

The City Attorney's office said it removed 269 firearms since it started pursuing these orders in December 2017. More than a third of the 100 cases related to domestic violence or stalking, while a fourth involved some form of substance abuse. Elliott's office also obtained orders against people who threatened violence against their workplaces and schools, or were a danger to themselves. Ten of the orders were obtained against juveniles or individuals who used social media to make threats.

"If you were to review the 100 cases we've gotten, everyone would agree that these people were not responsible, and I think we'd all agree we would not give them the firearm," Elliott said.

The orders last for a year, and can be renewed if new evidence emerges. A person can also get the order removed if he or she proves they are able to possess a firearm responsibly.

Still, concerns remain. Michael Schwartz, who runs the group San Diego County Gun Owners, said he'd like to see more guidelines over who is pursued.
"(Elliott) has no safeguards, she has no checks for law abiding people to make sure there aren't abuses of power or mistakes made," he said.

Elliott said she has no interest in responsible gun owners and that her office uses discretion before requesting the court order.