Gun Seizure Laws Considered in California and New Jersey

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Though they did absolutely nothing to prevent the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the gun-seizure law Connecticut put in place 15 years ago is now being given consideration by Democrats in California and New Jersey.

The law, as it’s carried out in Connecticut, allows judges to order police to confiscate firearms from personal possession when there is evidence that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others. A sensible law on the surface, many pro-Constitution advocates say that it creates a slippery-slope that cannot be easily recovered from. In a tense era where it seems we’re giving up our freedoms daily in the hopes of a safer country, this is just the type of band-aid law that gives liberals the warm-fuzzies without actually doing anything to address the root problem.

Connecticut lawmakers drafted the gun seizure legislation in 1999 after a horrific shooting at the state’s lottery headquarters that left four people dead. The murders were committed by a disgruntled employee who had a history of psychiatric issues on record. Since then, only Indiana has drafted a similar law, one which passed in 2005 after a police officer in Indianapolis was shot and killed by a mentally ill criminal.

Now California and New Jersey are mulling the possibility of putting a similar statute on their respective books, both of which are coming out in the wake of the mass shooting in Santa Barbara earlier this year.

In published reports advocating for the laws, Connecticut Undersecretary for Criminal Justice planning and policy Michael Lawlor had some especially ridiculous statements to make. He believes that the law could have prevented the senseless killing at Sandy Hook had police been aware of gunman Adam Lanza’s mental health problems. So…they had the law, and yet it didn’t work as intended. And that’s the reason more states should adopt it. Okay, that must make sense to gun-control advocates.

Three Better Approaches to Mass Shootings
Instead of stomping all over the 2nd Amendment with a steel-toed boot, why can’t lawmakers approach the problem from an innovative and imaginative angle?

#1 – Follow the Existing Laws
There already exist tough, prudent gun-control measures on both the state and federal levels in almost every area of the country. The problem with many of these mass shootings is not that there weren’t any laws to protect the innocent but that no one bothered to follow through. Due process is a concept vital to our criminal justice system, though, and gun-seizure laws are antithetical to that concept.

#2 – New Template for the Media
There should be a dialogue in this country not about the availability of guns, but about the irresponsible manner in which NBC, CBS, ABC, and all the rest glorify these spree killers for weeks and months after an incident. If you don’t think this high-level celebrity appeals to would-be murderers, you’re crazy. You only need to look at Elliot Rodger’s Youtube videos to see the attention-craving behind the madness.

#3 – A Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health
Almost every mass killing is done by someone with prior evidence of mental health decay. Is it possible that a better approach to getting these people the help they need could have prevented their violent outbursts and saved lives? Is it possible that these killers, in the absence of their own legal firearms, might turn to bombs, poisons, illegal guns, and other weaponry to carry out their plans? Contrary to what the left believes, guns are not the only way to do serious violence.

It wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see both California and New Jersey follow through on their gun seizure laws, so we’ll just have to wait and see what they blame when these laws do nothing to stop the next madman with murder on his mind.