A record number of guns are being taken off the streets in the South Bay, according to police.
The numbers show only one county in the state issues more gun violence restraining orders than Santa Clara County. The orders are issued by the court banning specific people from owning guns.
The statistics coming out of the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office show the issuing of those restraining orders has skyrocketed over the last few years. District Attorney Jeff Rosen credits proactive police work by an understaffed San Jose Police Department.
“We’ve seized thousands of guns. Thousands of illegal guns. Thousands of ghost guns. Thousands of machine guns.” Rosen said. “Real arsenals from people that were prepared to use them to hurt other people.”
Rosen has been analyzing the numbers and here’s what they show:
- In 2016, Santa Clara County judges issued seven gun violence restraining orders.
- Last year that number jumped to 405 restraining orders.
The restraining orders are a part of red flag laws passed in 2016.
“It’s temporary,” Rosen said. “The person can appeal to get their gun back a few weeks later. But they have to prove they’re in the right mindset to get the guns back.”
Santa Clara County is near the top of the state list in issuing these orders, ahead of even Los Angeles County.
In the last seven years, San Diego County has issued 2,009 gun violence restraining orders. That is followed by Santa Clara County at 827 and Orange County at 496.
Alameda County ranks 10th in the state at 166 court orders.
Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Marisa McKeown said the restraining orders rely on concerned citizens raising the red flag in the first place.
“We stopped a shooting at a mall. We stopped a shooting at a work place. We’ve detained individuals who threatened to shoot their neighbor,” McKeown said. “This happens so frequently that it’s almost a daily occurrence in our county.”
Danny Garza, who serves as president for the Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association, has seen firsthand how illegal guns have ravaged his community. Garza said he appreciates the police being proactive in going after illegal guns and hopes it ultimately cuts down on the gunfire he hears constantly.
“There’s so much gunfire that people don’t come out at night,” he said.
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Source: NBC Bay Area