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CA – GUN CONTROL – Santa Clara County wants dedicated team for seizing guns after restraining orders

Every year, Santa Clara County courts mandate that about 4,600 people surrender their firearms as the result of domestic-violence restraining orders being filed against them. But currently, authorities admit they make at best a modest dent in enforcing those bans. It’s why county and city officials are looking to form a team whose sole job would be to identify who of those prohibited people still has their guns, and take them away. With the proposed County Gun Team, the District Attorney’s Office would devote a prosecutor, investigator and three analysts to follow up on people barred from possessing firearms as a result of a criminal or family-court domestic-violence restraining order being issued against them. Marisa McKeown, a supervising deputy district attorney overseeing the D.A.’s Crime Strategies Unit, said the enforcement of the bans has been uneven depending on whether prosecutors had the bandwidth for it. “It used to be a part-time job of the particularly motivated,” McKeown said at a Monday news conference. “It needs to be a full-time job of a team of people.” Supervisor Cindy Chavez is pushing to use $427,247 from the county budget to pay for a dedicated prosecutor and investigator. The three proposed analyst positions would be paid out of the Bay Area’s federal Urban Areas Security Initiative funding, and by redirecting District Attorney funds for anti-theft programs and contract analysis work.  Chavez said the new gun-removal team shifts the burden, of asking authorities to take guns away from people domestic-violence restraining orders, away from those suffering abuse. “The follow up was on the victim,” Chavez said. “It shouldn’t be up to the victim re-saying, ‘I think this person still has firearms.’ This (team) allows us to do it at a much higher level and a much bigger scale.”  [full article]

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