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“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.
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.
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