Not to be outdone by their peers in New York who ushered in sweeping gun control reform last month, California Democrats in the state Senate announced their own insanely strict gun proposals at a Thursday press conference.
I rarely use hyperbolic language like “insane” or “crazy” when talking about politics, but in this particular case the shoe more than fits.
What’s especially troubling is that I hail from New York and I now live in California. In many ways I went from bad to much much worse; from a state that gleefully spits on the Second Amendment to one that openly and enthusiastically takes a dump on it (forgive the crude metaphor).
In looking at the proposals disclosed at the press conference I really believe that the Senate Dems have lost their minds.
Think I may be overreacting?
I know, it is Friday, the end of another long work week and I could really use a cold beer right now, but putting that aside for a moment, even if I slap on my journalistic hat and take a more objective look at the situation I still reach the same conclusion: these proposals are extreme and those who’ve authored them are either radically anti-Second Amendment or utterly certifiable – I’ll let you make the final call.
Okay, so what major proposals are these state lawmakers proposing?
- A ban on all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines.
- A retroactive ban on high-capacity magazine. Gun owners would have to sell off or dispose of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds within a given time period
- Universal gun registration, not just for handguns or ‘assault’ weapons but for all firearms.
So far, I have yet to see a complete list compiled (some of the proposals are still being drafted) but from what is being reported, here are some of the other bullet points courtesy of Mercury News and SFGate.com
- Barring the loaning or sale of a firearm between people who know each other personally.
- Requiring gun owners to purchase insurance to cover the cost of any damage that could result from use of a firearm.
- A 5-cent tax on each bullet purchased, with the money to be spent on either policing in high-crime areas or mental-illness screening and treatment for children.
- Requirements for ammunition sellers to be registered and sales reported to state officials.
From Mercury News:
- Require anyone wishing to buy ammunition to first get a permit by passing a background check, as Los Angeles and Sacramento already do.
- Update the definition of a banned shotgun with a revolving cylinder to include the new technology of a shotgun-rifle combination.
- Prevent unregulated gun loans, with some exceptions, including hunting, in order to keep weapons from those who haven’t passed background checks.
- Require all handgun owners obtain a safety certificate every year, rather than the every-five-years requirement for purchases of new handguns.
- Prohibit anyone barred from owning a weapon from living in a home where weapons are kept and to expand the list of crimes for which convictions result in being barred from gun possession.
- Let the state Justice Department use money from the state’s Dealer’s Record of Sale system to eliminate the backlog of people identified as no longer allowed to own guns but not yet investigated and contacted by law enforcement.
That last point listed is especially unnerving. It essentially means that the state government will appropriate money for law enforcement to go door-to-door and confiscate firearms from individuals the state believes should not have them (they mention this in the video below).
In theory, it would only target criminals or the mentally defective. Again, “in theory.”
If that wasn’t scary enough, Assembly Democrats have already primed the pumps for this type of confiscatory policy, they are currently considering a proposal that would not only round up guns from alleged criminals, but one that would take state’s 166,000 registered ‘assault’ weapons from their lawful owners, as Mercury News reported.
To justify this jaw-dropping attack on Californians’ right to keep and bear arms, lawmakers contend that it’s all about “saving lives.”
“We respect the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to have guns for hunting, for sport, for protecting their homes and families. But loopholes in California’s tough gun laws have been exploited long enough,” state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said at the press conference.
“We can save lives by curbing the proliferation of guns designed to be fired and reloaded rapidly,” he continued.
“We can save lives by getting guns and ammunition out of the hands of the wrong people. We can save lives if every gun owner knows how to safely handle those guns. And if we can save lives, we must act to do so.”
The response from California-based, pro-gun organizations has been pretty much on par with my own reaction. That is, a mix of shock and horror that is ultimately supplanted by a deep, abiding resolve to fight for gun rights.
“This is off the charts, and none of these laws that are being proposed will prevent crime or solve crime,” Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, told SFGate.com.
“Nothing has gone to unify the pro-gun community, the pro-Second Amendment community more than the attacks that we are facing,” he said, adding that they were the most “in the history of California and maybe the history of the United States.”
Yup, Mr. Paredes is dead on. It’s time for California gun owners to unite and redouble our efforts to defeat these draconian gun laws and these dolts in office.
(Also, feel free to crack open a cold one while reading this. It might help calm the nerves.)