8 anti-gun bills advance in California legislature

Bicameral moves in Sacramento last week saw over a half-dozen measures aimed at increasing gun regulations move forward in the state legislature.

In all, eight bills were advanced by the respective Senate and Assembly appropriations committees that would add new requirements to concealed carry licenses, expand the use of lifetime gun bans, make it easier to file so-called “red flag” firearm seizure orders, ration gun sales and strip gun rights from those under age 21. Making it past the fiscal deadline for proposed legislation, each now moves to the chamber floor.

The bills:

AB 1968 makes it a lifetime firearm prohibition for those who have been admitted to a mental health facility under certain conditions more than once in a one-year period.

AB 1927 would study crafting a law to allow individuals to voluntarily jettison their own gun rights. A similar law was enacted in Washington earlier this year, aimed at curbing suicides.

AB 2103 adds more red tape to those applying for concealed carry permits in the state, making a firearms safety course of at least eight hours mandatory before they could be issued a license. Some jurisdictions have higher requirements than what is being proposed, but gun control advocates who support the measure say a statewide mandate for more training is needed. Gun rights advocates say the move is uncalled for and duplicative.

AB 2888 would expand who can file for one of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Orders, adding coworkers, employers, and school employees to the list that currently includes family members and police. Such orders, largely pioneered by the state, have been derided as “turn in your neighbor” laws as they allow for temporary gun seizures with the accused only able to appear in court after the fact in many cases.

SB 221 would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the state-owned Cow Palace in Daly City. The historic venue has long been the location of numerous gun shows throughout the years, which has drawn the ire of Democrats from nearby San Francisco. The bill was voted out of committee on Aug. 8.

SB 1100 would bar firearm sales to those under 21 years of age. The move would be similar to laws passed in Florida and Vermont this year, the former of which has resulted in a legal challenge on grounds of age discrimination. A fiscal analysis of the measure estimates California would lose out on $2.2 million per year in mandatory dealer fees due to the decreased number of gun sales resulting from the proposed new laws.

SB 1177 aims to ration new firearm purchases to one every 30 days. The state currently has such a rule for handgun sales, which the proposal would stretch to include shotguns and rifles. Just the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New Jersey have gun rationing laws on the books, but they, like California’s current statute, are directed at handguns only.

SB 1487 would make African hunting illegal for California residents through the vehicle of banning the importation to the state of animals legally harvested on that continent.

The bills were almost universally panned by the California Rifle and Pistol Association, Gun Owners of California, the NRA, and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

As a win, one worrisome bill to the gun rights advocates, AB 2382, which would have mandated background checks on many of the components needed to build or repair firearms and regulated those who sell them through a licensing scheme, was held in committee, likely killing it.

Meanwhile, a bill supported by gun groups, AB 2152, aimed at reducing the cost of antelope, elk, bear, and bighorn sheep game tags for junior hunters, passed to the Senate floor.

Latest Reviews