Police in Los Angeles County sought more emergency gun removal orders between January and October than in all of 2022, court officials told the I-Team.
There have been 68 requests for “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” so far this year, compared with 66 filed last year.
Those numbers include requests from all LA County police agencies and the public, and the LA Superior Court did not have data on how many were approved by judges.
If the orders are granted they authorize police to temporarily seize firearms to prevent violence like mass shootings.
Members of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners asked for information this week on what the LAPD does to respond to threat reports, following revelations that authorities in Maine had received numerous warnings about the man who carried out the murders of 18 people in shooting sprees last week.
LAPD Assistant Chief Robert Marino told the Commission Tuesday the Department investigates all threats and files for gun restraining orders when appropriate.
Commander Jay Mastick, the assistant commanding officer of the LAPD’s Detective Bureau, told the I-Team that more officers have been trained on how to obtain the orders, and the number of requests increased significantly this year.
“In 2022 we had 18 gun violence restraining orders that were issued by the court, in 2023 we’ve had 46 that were issued by the court,” Mastick said.
He explained that the orders are useful when officers or detectives find someone’s statements or actions worrisome, but they don’t meet the legal standard of a criminal threat, which could lead to an arrest and prosecution.
“So it fits kind of a particular niche as a tool, where you don’t have someone for a crime yet, but you have concerning behavior,” he said.
California’s gun violence restraining order law was introduced after a 2014 attack in Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara claimed the lives of 6 people and left 14 others injured.
Source: NBC Los Angeles