In response to recent tragic shootings, Democrats in California’s State Assembly are introducing legislation that could prohibit DUI offenders from owning and carrying a firearm. DWI, of course, has no relationship whatsoever to gun ownership, and the legislation only touches upon DWI as part of an overall gun control strategy. If adopted, family members of a gun owner, if they believe the gun owner has a mental health problem, can have a “gun violence restraining order” issued. The proposal also provides for firearm confiscation from individuals exhibiting “risk factors” including “drug or alcohol use” and allows a DUI conviction to be used as evidence of a “risk factor.”
It’s not the first time that California lawmakers have tried to restrict gun ownership for DWI offenders. Democrat Senator Lois Wolk of Davis introduced SB 755 last year, a bill that would have prevented some DUI offenders from owning a gun for 10 years. At that time, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill. While SB 755 would probably have been thrown out by the courts, the current legislation might withstand a court challenge because it’s wrapped in “mental health” language.
Frankly, the notion that a DUI offense is a “risk factor” which should prevent someone from owning a gun is absurd. Currently, certain convictions already prevent individuals from possessing a firearm. However, those convictions are for crimes that are already related to actual gun violence. Driving under the influence, however, is not.
If you are charged with DUI anywhere in southern California, obtain the services of an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney immediately. You could be facing fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license – but not gun confiscation, at least not yet. A good DUI defense lawyer will help you gather evidence and witnesses, dispute test results, and will work hard to have your charge reduced or dismissed. If your case goes to trial, an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney will fight for your acquittal and help you to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. If you face the charge, now or in the future, call a good DWI defense lawyer immediately.