Random thoughts while reading this:
in Newtown, the law might have allowed police to remove whatshisface's mother
's guns, had someone reported him
as a threat. See the problem there?
Sounds good on the surface, but the potential for abuse is plain. Decades ago we made it difficult to even temporarily hold mentally ill people without their consent, because of abuses that occurred in that system. Something was needed, but we are paying now for the approach we took then.
I wonder how high the bar will be for judges issuing those warrants? They'll be under extreme pressure to "prevent a tragedy" by acting NOW. Yes, the accused will eventually have his day in court. And an interesting police and mental health record, win, lose or draw. And a pretty big bill to pay. The accused will have to spend time and/or money with a lawyer and mental health types. Add more lawyer time to force the PD to actually return the firearms, and probably gunsmith fees to fix the damage that will occur in the seizure and storage. There's also a pretty hard neighborhood stigma attached to such raids. All because someone makes a phone call.
Can the call be anonymous?
This allows for a kinder, gentler form of SWATting
. All it takes is a a vindictive ex- or soon-to-be, paranoid aquaintance, that jerk down the street, et cetera, or someone just overhearing and misinterpreting a piece of conversation to put one of us through that trauma.
Does this law have any punishment provisions for false or unproven accusations? Will the accusers' names be disclosed? Does it allow civil action against accusers? Any punishments for officials or agencies abusing their power? Compensation for those falsely accused?
The sooner I get behind, the more time I have to catch up.