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Now Teachers, Co-Workers Or The Boss Can Ask A Judge To Seize Guns

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Starting tomorrow, a wider range of Californians will be able to seek a special kind of restraining order: one that would temporarily take away guns from people found to be a danger to themselves or others.

A so-called red flag law has been on the books since 2016. It’s designed to prevent mass shootings. The law allows police and immediate family members to ask a judge to take away someone’s guns for as little as three weeks, or as long as five years.

Now the definition of who can seek a court order is expanding, to include teachers, other school staff, employers and co-workers.

School staff will have to work through an administrator to file a request with a court, and co-workers will have to work with their human resources department.

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State Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) authored the expansion of the law. Citing the danger of a resumption of school and workplace shootings as things reopen during the pandemic, he said, "[i]t makes sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies."

From 2016 through 2019, judges issued more than 1,700 orders to temporarily take away people’s guns, according to Ting's office.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have a version of red flag gun laws on the books, the assemblyman's office said.

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