‘We know that any gun that’s out there in the hands of someone illegally has the potential for violence…’
The “County Gun Team” will work with the district attorney’s office and the county’s board of supervisors to locate and take weapons from those who have been court-ordered to turn in their guns under Santa Clara’s “red flag” laws.
Every year, the county courts force more than 4,600 people to surrender their firearms. Most of these court orders are the result of domestic-violence restraining orders, according to the Mercury News.
Few of those weapons end up being confiscated, however—which is why the county wants a prosecutor, investigator and three analysts to follow up with people ordered to hand over their guns.
“It used to be a part-time job of the particularly motivated,” supervising Deputy District Attorney Maris McKeown explained. “It needs to be a full-time job of a team of people.”
The new task force will cost nearly $427,000 annually, according to the county’s board of supervisors. But Santa Clara officials said the cost is worth it to keep citizens safe.
“We’re dealing with increasing violent crime involving weapons,” said Heather Randol, deputy chief of investigations for San Jose Police. “Anything that’s going to make the community safer by removing illegal weapons is something we support.”
Concerns about the potential abuse of these firearm restraining orders is overplayed, Randol claimed.
“We have officers who are experts in this area,” she said. “Our special operations takes each case very seriously. There is a step-by-step process that they go through before they actually serve that warrant … We know that any gun that’s out there in the hands of someone illegally has the potential for violence.”