“a significant threat to civil liberties by expanding the authorization to seek ex parte orders”
California recently pushed constitutionally guaranteed second amendment protections to the limit. So much so that they’ve drawn the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union.
From The Daily Caller:
Under current California law, the government is empowered to confiscate an individual’s firearms if a family member or law enforcement officer petitions a court to do so and the court determines that there is a “substantial likelihood” that the individual “poses a significant danger” to themselves or others. The entire procedure takes place ex parte. This means that the person targeted with the confiscation order is not provided with any opportunity to present evidence and offer a defense in court or even receive notice of the petition prior to the confiscation of their firearms.
The California scheme has unconstitutional effects. As proposed, every family member of a gun owner and every law enforcement officer will enjoy an unlawful veto over that gun owner’s Second Amendment rights and the gun owner has no opportunity to object until their rights have been infringed. Due process is fundamental; at a minimum, due process requires notice, an opportunity to be heard and present evidence, and the right to be represented by counsel.
Within 21 days after the order is issued a gun owner is entitled to a hearing on the matter. If, after a hearing, the court determines the individual to pose a danger, the gun owner’s right to possess firearms is suspended for one year.
…On October 11, Newsom signed a raft of gun control bills that amend California’s gun confiscation orders procedure. Newsom signed AB 12, which will increase the duration of the gun confiscation order from “one to five years.” The governor also approved AB 61, which will expand the categories of individuals who can petition to deprive a person of their Second Amendment rights to include employers, coworkers, and “employee[s] or teacher[s] of a secondary or postsecondary school.” That’s right, not just educators, but any employee of the school district may be able to restrict the constitutional rights of on an adult student.
The American Civil Liberties Union has objected to the new slate of legislative measures and as The Daily Caller reports, said they pose “a significant threat to civil liberties by expanding the authorization to seek ex parte orders, with all the ensuing consequences, without an opportunity for the person to be heard or contest the matter.”
An ex parte order means the person subject to the restraining order is not informed of the court proceeding and therefore has no opportunity to contest the allegations. We support the efforts to prevent gun violence, but we must balance that important goal with protection of civil liberties so we do not sacrifice one in an attempt to accomplish the other… By expanding the parties that could apply for such an ex parte restraining order to include all the parties listed above, many of whom lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment, AB 61… creates significant potential for civil rights violations.
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