Gun Control Advocates Looking to California

They want to adopt the 5150 hold as the national standard. Under California law, anyone who ends up with a 5150 is barred from firearms possession for a period of five years. Pennsylvania law is actually nearly identical on this matter, except that we call it a 302 commitment, and the ban is for life instead of 5 years, though in both cases you can petition to have your rights restored. The 302 commitment is routinely abused, as any firearms attorney in this state will tell you, and it sounds like California is no different.

Davis said his case files are filled with people who say “stupid stuff” and then lose their gun rights for nothing more than a brief emotional outburst.

Among them: A man fired by his employer who cried, “I wish I was dead,” during the exit interview; a woman who filed a sexual harassment claim against a supervisor and had not eaten or slept because of workplace stress; and a motorcycle accident victim who had taken too much medication – leading hospital staff to fear he was attempting suicide.

The medical establishment has repeatedly demonstrated hostility to the right to keep and bear arms, therefore I am against giving them power over that. I’ve heard of too many cases like this, where individuals with 302 commitments for bogus reasons end up having to very quickly find a place to store their firearms, to avoid having them turned over to the police and destroyed. Remember, when you get a 5150 or 302, if you already have a collection, if you can’t find anyone to take it within a very short amount of time of your commitment, you lose it. Whether a $500 Glock or a $20,000 collection is no matter. There has to be due process here, and what gun control advocates want to do doesn’t amount to that.

10 thoughts on “Gun Control Advocates Looking to California”

    1. Federal law is actually pretty sensible on this, requiring due process for involuntary commitment before you lose your gun rights. State laws are the problem, and there is likely a successful argument available that this violates a fundamental right, because of the lack of due process for 302 and 5150 firearms disabilities.

      1. This.

        The language used for question 11F on the form 4473 (especially when you read the instructions for same), definitively states that such determinations or commitments MUST come from a court of law to have a prohibiting effect.

  1. I’m surprised PA 302 hasn’t been successfully attacked on Constitutional grounds. Any info on that, Sebastian?

    As for CA adopting 5150, I’d say let ’em stew in their own juices, Californians deserve what they get, good and hard, but whatever anti-gun measures get enacted in CA will potentially metastasize to the rest of the country where we’ll have to spend time and money to fight them.

    And, speaking of 302, do any commercial outfits offer secure vault rental storage capacity for guns in those instances? Even moderate term – 6 months, say – would give the affected, or a family member, to pursue a permanent or a longer temporary solution.

    1. I doubt such a challenge would be successful. It’s not something I’d push through the courts right now. Reason being is that the 3rd Federal Circuit, which includes PA, NJ and DE, has shown itself to be unusually hostile to 2nd Amendment rights. That you’d lose on at circuit court is a fore-drawn conclusion. It’d have to go to SCOTUS, and I doubt SCOTUS is looking to define mental health limits right now.

      Remember, the courts overall are extremely hostile to the Heller and McDonald decisions. We probably need another decision or two out of SCOTUS on easier topics before we can tackle that kind of issue.

    2. I don’t know of any commercial outfits that store guns, short of a friendly FFL who might agree to take them. The problem is that getting them out of the house isn’t enough. You have to surrender them, and give up any dominion over them. If you rented a space, if you still had access to the firearms, you’d technically still be in possession of them. It would be possible to have that kind of arrangement, however, but I doubt it would be profitable to operate as a business.

      1. The issue seems to be firmly rooted in a lack of demand.

        The segment of the population that is effected by this is fairly small (although the powers that be have shown that they want to change this), and of those effected, the vast majority seem to either dispose of their firearms lawfully, or simply ignore the law.

        That being said, I don’t think a commercial venture would be that difficult to establish; The individual would need to transfer their firearms to a properly written trust (figure ~$600 on a per-trust basis), and then have the holding/storage company contracted (such a contract should be fairly generic, and should only need to be drafted once) as the administrator of the trust. Said contract would require the trust to pay storage/administration fees on a specific timetable; Failure of the trust to have sufficient liquid assets to cover such expenses would result in liquidation of trust assets to cover said expenses.

        If there were sufficient demand, I’m sure such a service would already be offered, given the seemingly low costs.

  2. On the storage thing, at a minimum it would have to be outside your state of residence. Just for starters.

    1. Why?

      There are plenty of ways of separating property and possessive interests that don’t involve interstate commerce…

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