California lawmakers have advanced a bill that allows judges to temporarily remove firearms from people who show signs that they could harm themselves or others.
The Senate on Wednesday passed AB1014 by Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley on a 23-8 vote. It was drafted after a murderous rampage in May near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
On May 23, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people, injured 13 others and then died due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. After the shooting, it was discovered that Rodger's parents were concerned about their son's welfare and mental capacity and asked officers to check on him. However, after law enforcement checked on Rodger and saw his violent rants posted online, they did not take away any weapons or firearms.
AB1014 would make California the first state to let family members and law enforcement officers ask a judge to issue temporary restraining orders preventing people from possessing a firearm who show mental instability or violent tendencies.
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara said it will be worth the effort if one life can be saved. Republicans were opposed, saying law-abiding citizens shouldn't be disarmed.
Richard Martinez and Bob Weiss, fathers of two victims killed in the shooting, watched the vote, which returned AB1014 to the Assembly.
"Nothing we do can bring Veronica and the other victims back," Weiss said about his daughter Veronica Weiss. "But my hope is by working to pass AB1014, other lives can be spared... AB1014 takes real steps to ensuing the tragedies like the one in Santa Barbara won't take place again."
"He was my son and he was everything to me and a dangerous young man shot and killed him at a delicatessen in Isla Vista California three months ago," Martinez said about his son Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez. "Christopher was my best friend and I miss him every single day."
Under the legislation, the gun violence restraining order mirrors the existing process for domestic violence restraining orders, which allows courts to weigh evidence about whether individuals are too dangerous to be allowed near their intimate partners of children.
The Associated Press and CTNS contributed to this story