California is adding a secret but growing class of weapons to those that can be legally seized under gun violence prohibition orders, under a bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Friday.
What is also known as a “red flag” law allows police as well as family members, colleagues, employers and teachers to ask judges to take the guns of those who they pose a potential threat to themselves or to others.
The new law includes what are known as “ghost weapons” in the definition of what may be seized as of July 1, 2022. They are firearms assembled from parts and therefore may not be registered or purchased by the through a dealer, as are other legally owned firearms.
The same expanded definition also applies to domestic violence restraining orders.
MP Cottie Petrie-Norris said her bill fills a gap in the law by ensuring “that these readily available guns that look and act like any other firearm are treated appropriately.”
Phantom weapon kits or parts cannot be seized under applicable law, according to gun violence prevention advocates, The Brady Campaign, although unfinished or unassembled parts can easily be turned into a functional weapon. Unlike traditional guns, unfinished parts can be purchased without a background check or waiting period.
There was no listed opposition to the measure, which cleared all legislative hurdles without a dissenting vote.
They were among the seven related measures that Newsom promulgated.
He said the action “strengthens the enforcement of our common sense gun safety laws, helping to ensure that dangerous people who are prohibited from owning guns surrender their guns and advancing other policies vital to making our communities safer “.
A related invoice allows those seeking domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders to electronically file and appear remotely at hearings where judges decide whether or not to grant the orders.
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