In 2014, 22-year-old California resident, Elliot Rodger, went on a rampage, killing six people and wounding fourteen more near the University of California.

Legislators who were called to “do something” in the aftermath were stumped. Rodger had purchased his firearms legally in California, a state that is not known for its lax gun laws, and he had never been formally diagnosed with a mental illness. Under state and federal law, there was not much that could have been done, a sentiment shared by the University of California’s President, Janet Napolitano, who said:

“This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.”

The answer to “do something” came in the form of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, also known as GVROs. The purpose of the GVROs was to create a system that allowed family members to secretly petition a court to confiscate firearms from fellow family members they deemed a danger to themselves or others.

The law was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown shortly after the shooting, and went into effect New Year’s Day of this year. A few days before the law took effect, KPCC reported details:

Under the new law, a restraining order could be issued without prior knowledge of the person. In other words, a judge could issue the order without ever hearing from the person in question, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is a threat based on accounts from the family and police.

Not even four months have passed since the law was enacted and already Democrat legislators are calling for an expansion to the already broad legislation.

Democrat Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco has announced that his bill, AB 2607, is a much-needed expansion. The Firearms Policy Coalition issued a response to Ting’s bill:

“The Ting bill massively expands a controversial law that has only been in place for four months. At present, current law permits family members and peace officers to petition a court, in secret, in order to restrain an individual from possessing firearms. AB 2607 compounds this measure by adding to the list of qualified petitioners, employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a secondary or post-secondary school.

This would add thousands of people (including complete strangers) to the list of people who could petition a court to restrain a person from possessing firearms, triggering a warrant and armed law enforcement raids — without trial, conviction, or opportunity to defend oneself before a court.”

The proposed expansion is staggering. Imagine being surrounded by coworkers or fellow students who are on the opposing side of your political or religious beliefs — who have the power to secretly petition a court to have your firearms seized if you so much as get into an argument with them.

We have already seen the effect this type of legislation has had with veterans who are afraid to talk to VA counselors about issues of PTSD — out of fear that if they say the wrong thing, they could have their rights removed without proper due process.

When propositions such as Ting’s came up on the federal level, several mental health organizations came out against the move, stating that the field of mental health counseling has already been stigmatized and that adding another impediment could actually prevent those suffering from seeking help altogether.

Advocates of the law claim that the seizure is limited and that a person who has come under the court’s microscope can challenge the judge’s decision after three weeks.

One can only imagine that an assembly who has repeatedly broadened the scope of state control over gun owners would be more than willing to expand the ban’s duration, or stretch it out indefinitely.