California lawmakers bump gun age to 21, ban gun show, enact long arm rationing

“Our country is awash in guns, and schoolchildren are dying,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat who sponsored a bill to drive gun shows from the state-owned Cow Palace. (Photo: Wiener’s office)

A series of four anti-gun bills were approved late this week and are heading to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature. The measures — Assembly Bill 2888 and Senate Bills 221, 1100, and 1177 — passed the state legislature and now head to the state’s Democratic governor for further consideration.

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. After making it through the Assembly on a 48-25 vote in May, the Senate approved it this week 25-12.

The second measure, 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, a city that regulated its last gun shop out of business in 2015. The bill passed the Assembly in a contentious 44-31 vote before navigating the Senate Thursday, 26-13.

“Our country is awash in guns, and schoolchildren are dying,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Scott Wiener D-San Francisco. “We need fewer guns, and we need to stop the proliferation of guns whose only purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

Also headed to Brown is Sen. Anthony Portantino’s SB 1100 that 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, both of which have triggered a legal challenge. 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. Nonetheless, the Assembly approved it 47-30 on Tuesday setting up a 26-12 Senate concurrence on Wednesday.

“I am determined to help California respond appropriately to the tragic events our country has recently faced,” the Los Angeles County Dem said Friday. “I feel it is imperative that California leads when Washington refuses to act.”

Another of Portantino’s proposals, SB 1177, aims to ration all 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. The measure was given a 47-30 nod in the Assembly earlier this week before a 25-12 vote in the Senate on Thursday.

The move this week grows the stack of gun control expansions on Brown’s desk to eight, following just days after legislators forwarded him a quartet of bills to expand lifetime gun bans and make it harder to get a concealed carry permit. He has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bills.

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