Published: Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Too much room for abuse
A single paragraph on page B-1 Thursday tells us there's a new law modeled on what California enacted about a year ago. Details lacking, but if it's anything like California, a woman can get a restraining order on her word alone against a husband or boyfriend. Restraining orders are easy to get. He has 24 hours to sell or give to police all his guns or face going to jail for a felony. It isn't required that he be notified to do it or that he know about the law. It's up to him to prove he isn't a “threat.” This would be after his guns are already gone. The woman has nothing to prove and is likely to get free legal aid. The man, and it will inevitably be a man, will never buy or own another gun, will be a felon if he does, and may have done nothing worse than made his girlfriend or wife mad. He may have automatically broken the law if he is in jail on his girlfriend's word. That's the law in California. Ours may be different in detail. I hope so.
How easy for a vindictive woman to say, “Do such-and-such or kiss your gun (and maybe freedom) goodbye. Good luck ever getting it back from the police.” Of course, no woman would do such a thing.
Will this law prevent violent men from shooting women? I hope so. Will it send innocent men to jail? Not too difficult to imagine. Is the NRA a bunch or paranoid nuts who think there are people out there working incrementally to end private gun ownership? Yes, it is. Are there women capable of abusing such a law? Unfortunately, yes. Did the enactment of this law deserve more than a one-inch paragraph on page B-1?