Following the recent killing of six students near the University of California at Santa Barbara, California and New Jersey legislators have proposed a law that would allow judges to seize firearms from residents who are a potential threat to themselves and others. In 1999, Connecticut was the first state to pass such a mandate, which law enforcement officials have increasingly utilized in the wake of mass shootings at schools like Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary.
Despite significant opposition from gun rights advocates in the state, Connecticut law enforcement officials have implemented the policy with high success rates. Police across the state secured a total of 183 gun-seizure warrants last year—more than double the amount in 2010, according Dave Collins of the Washington Post.
“Police in South Windsor, about 12 miles northeast of Hartford, say the law was invaluable last year,” writes Collins. “They seized several guns from the home of a man accused of spray-painting graffiti referencing mass shootings in Newtown and Colorado on the outside of the town’s high school.” Even well backed gun rights organizations are struggling to dissuade states from adopting this common sense policy. Of course, failing to take this action will likely yield severe and tragic consequences. “We always look at it from the other side,” explained South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed. “What if we don’t seize the guns?” Many state officials believe that the Sandy Hook shooting provides a clear answer to that question.
Read more about this common sense law in the Washington Post, here.