Any Californian looking to purchase a long gun after Jan. 1, 2014, will need to register it with the state, under a gun control ordinance that was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown back in 2011.
Consequently, prospective gun buyers are flocking to gun stores to pick up desired rifles or shotguns before the law kicks in, CBS 13 reports.
According to John Deaser, a Federal Firearms Licensee and the owner of Just Guns, a Sacramento gun store, sales have surged 30 to 50 percent.
Though, while that’s good news financially for Deaser, he’s not happy about the law, which he believes is an “unnecessary invasion of privacy.”
“These are law-abiding citizens,” he said. “They’re not trying to beat the system or anything like that. They just don’t want to be tracked.”
The law, known as AB 809, was the brainchild of Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-West Hollywood). The goal was to treat long gun purchases the same way the state treats handgun purchases, which are entered into a database controlled by the California Department of Justice.
Prior to AB 809 going into effect, law enforcement was required to destroy the records of long gun purchases or transfers within 10 days. Now they’ll track the make, model and serial number of the gun, in addition to the name and address of long gun owner.
“Since the state already retains handgun purchaser information, I see no reason why the state should not also retain information pertaining to the sale of long guns,” said Brown upon signing the law back in October 2011.
Not surprisingly, the law was met with opposition from gun-rights groups and organizations. The National Shooting Sports Foundation staunchly opposed AB 809.
“Sadly, the steady erosion of the Second Amendment in California continues,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Gov. Brown has now proven that he no more respects freedom and the individual right protected by the Second Amendment than his predecessor.”
“These bills will increase costs for the taxpayer and the state’s retailers, most of whom are small mom-and-pop businesses. It will cost the state jobs and tax revenue, all the while doing absolutely nothing to reduce crime,” continued Keane about AB 809 and other gun-control bills the governor signed a few years ago, including one that banned open carry in the state.
That said, not everyone believes the law is the cause of the surge in gun sales. Resident Jason Gudgel said the holiday shopping season is the reason why folks are out buying firearms, not the roll out of AB 809.
“I teach my son hunter safety,” he said. “We do it as a sport. We hunt pheasant and deer, and that’s what they’re supposed to be meant for.”
It should also be noted that the gun-control laws signed in 2011 are separate and distinct from the bevy of gun-control laws Gov. Brown approved this year in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Among the bills passed in 2013 include a AB711, a bill that will ban hunting in the state with lead ammunition by 2019 and SB683, which will require people who buy rifles and shotguns to first pass a written firearm safety test and obtain a certificate, just like the buyers of handguns must.