Yesterday, the California Attorney General sent out a press release on domestic violence issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. Included in his release was an automatic extension of up to 90 days for temporary Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) that have not yet had a formal hearing. This move highlights a major problem with GVRO/Red flag laws: a person can lose their rights with no due process, and in this case, the deprivation can be extended with the stroke of a pen by an anti-gun bureaucrat.
Under current law, a temporary GVRO automatically expires 21 days after it is issued. State law also requires a full hearing to take place within the 21 day period. It is only at the full hearing that due process protections apply, where an individual has the right to counsel and to be heard on the allegations before the court. However, with emergency powers invoked by the Governor and such authority extended to the judicial branch during the COVID-19 crisis, hearings can now be postponed for up to 90 days, resulting in some temporary orders being in effect for up to 110 days.
The result of these actions mean that a person who has had their firearms and ammunition confiscated based at the initial GVRO ex parte stage will not have an opportunity to contest the merits of the initial order for nearly four months. As NRA has discussed on numerous occasions, this highlights a major flaw with GVRO ex parte proceedings where an individual is provided no due process before they are deprived of a constitutional right. In the present case, the Attorney General makes no bones about his belief that when it comes to the Second Amendment, guilty until proven innocent suits his purposes just fine.