Despite already having some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, California is marching toward sweeping gun control reform in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
On Tuesday, Democrats in a state Senate committee capitalized off their super majority to advance a package of seven gun control proposals, including one that would ban so-called ‘assault’ weapons, semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, and another that would retroactively ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo.
At the committee hearing, Los Angles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke out in favor of the measures, which would ultimately make life more difficult for law-abiding gun owners.
“Some will say we’re overreacting to recent tragedies — they are wrong,” Villaraigosa told the committee. “We can’t wait for the next shooting at a day- care center, nor can we wait for the next shooting at an elementary school like Newtown.”
According to the Associated Press, the other proposals on the table would:
_ Make it more difficult to rapidly reload weapons with high-capacity magazines.
_ Add a combination shotgun-rifle to the state’s list of prohibited weapons.
_ Require background checks for all gun owners.
_ Require ammunition buyers to undergo a background check and get a permit.
_ Require more training for gun buyers.
_ And add new crimes to those that disqualify California residents from owning weapons.
The NRA-ILA did a more extensive examination of the proposals being considered by the state Senate, to review its breakdown and analysis, click here.
Although they were outnumbered, opponents of the proposals were given an opportunity to voice their concern at the hearing as well.
Two of the most vocal critics were law enforcement, Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County and Sheriff John D’Agostini of El Dorado County. Both sheriffs slammed the measures, claiming that they’d be utterly ineffective at reducing violent crime or preventing future mass shootings.
“These types of actions that we’re recommending today do nothing to take action against the things we’re trying to fight,” Wilson told the committee. “You are making criminals out of decent citizens, hard-working people. As sheriff, these are laws that I will not enforce, will never enforce.”
Sheriff D’Agostini doubled down on Wilson’s remarks.
“It’s going to do absolutely nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to curb violent crime with firearms,” said Sheriff D’Agostini.
The fact that California law enforcement is at odds with the senate Democrats on gun control actually mirrors a nationwide trend. In other states that have enacted tougher gun laws in recent months – Colorado and New York – police unions have openly stated their frustration and unease with the new legislation.
Aside from the sheriffs, Rob Young, a school-shooting survivor from the 1989 mass shooting at Stockton that left five people dead also argued that the proposals would only hurt law-abiding gun owners.
“Criminals do not play by the rules,” said Young. “They can care less about restrictions, assault weapons bans or current gun laws.”
But as we’ve seen in New York, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland, Democratically-controlled state legislatures are unswayed by logic or reason or cold-hard facts. Instead, lawmakers in these pro-gun control-leaning states seem to prefer the rhetoric, misinformation and propaganda spouted by people like New York City Mayor Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and with ever increasing intensity President Obama.
By the time the dust settles, California will join the ranks of NY, CO, CT, and MD, becoming just another brick in the wall. Unfortunately.