Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine and conduct a mental health evaluation of a person considered a danger to himself or others for 72 hours. In California, this 72-hour hold results in a loss of your right to possess firearms for 5 years and if you are taken into custody under section 5150, law enforcement can seize any firearms you owned or possessed.
In order to restore your right to firearms and terminate the five-year prohibition period, you must file a petition under section 8103 within 30 days from your release. If you do not file this petition within the 30-day period, you forfeit your right to the firearms. You should also be examined by a licensed forensic psychiatrist, who, upon favorable findings regarding your psychiatric condition, can provide expert testimony at your hearing. The key is demonstrating that you are likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner. Under California Welfare & Institutions Code § 8103, once someone has been evaluated or taken into custody for being “a danger to himself, herself, or others,” you may be subject to the five year prohibition if the government is able to show by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., more likely than not) that you would not be likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner. While the process can be difficult and stressful, Orange County Gun Rights Attorney Scott D. Hughes can help you with the process and acquire all the necessary documentation so that you can get your gun rights back.