Citing the tragic shooting in Isla Vista, Calif., Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she plans to introduce legislation that would provide families and persons close to potentially dangerous people with new options to prevent gun violence.
“It is haunting that the family of the gunman who committed this massacre in Isla Vista was desperate to stop a tragedy, and yet they lacked the tools to do so,” Boxer said in a release. “My bill would give families and associates who fear someone close to them could commit violence new tools to help prevent these tragedies.”
Boxer said her bill, which she could introduce as soon as next week, would allow families and others to go to court and seek a “gun violence prevention order” that would temporarily stop someone close to them who poses a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm. The measure comes after Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 13 others in an attack near the University of California Santa Barbara.
The attack came despite concerns from his parents, who had police check on him earlier this year.
The bill would also help ensure that families and others could seek a "gun violence prevention warrant" that would allow law enforcement to take temporary possession of firearms that have already been purchased if a court determines that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others, according to the release.
In addition, the measure would help ensure that law enforcement makes full use of all existing gun registries when assessing a tip, warning or request from a concerned family member or other close associate.
But the measure’s chances of passage are unclear at best, given the fact that it would likely reopen the debate over gun control after an unsuccessful effort in the Senate last year.
The Isla Vista tragedy has also spurred some renewed interest in exploring the possibility of pushing for mental health legislation . But while those measures stand a better chance of becoming law, it's uncertain if Congress would act before the November midterms.