Gun dealer describes confusion, complexity in California’s new gun laws
California significantly tightened its firearms restrictions last year when it enacted a broad package of bills regulating ammunition sales, expanding the state’s prohibition on assault weapons and banning the possession of high-capacity magazines. Those laws are currently being challenged in court by gun rights groups.
Nothing so sweeping passed this legislative session. But California gun owners are nevertheless raising objections to a half-dozen measures that recently moved to the governor’s desk for consideration, which one organization characterized as lawmakers “grasping at straws” to make it seem like they’re doing something on gun control.
“They’re finding it harder and harder to come up with anti-Second Amendment legislation that they deem to be reasonable,” Firearms Policy Coalition spokesman Craig DeLuz said.
The Firearms Policy Coalition is among the groups now lobbying Gov. Jerry Brown to veto measures like Senate Bill 464, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, requiring new security measures for storing inventory at gun shops, and Assembly Bill 1525, by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, updating the warning labels displayed on firearm packaging and in businesses.
Supporters argue these policies will help guard against burglaries at gun stores and keep consumers informed of many coming changes to state law. DeLuz contends they do nothing but unnecessarily burden manufacturers and sellers, ultimately driving up the cost of buying a gun in California or driving shops out of business: “It’s just going to provide additional cost to firearms retailers.”
Gun rights advocates’ biggest target this year is Assembly Bill 424, by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, which eliminates the ability of school districts to permit firearm possession on their campuses. Just two years ago, the Legislature rolled back a law that allowed concealed carry guns in school zones statewide, leaving the decision up to local officials.
But after five districts, including one in the Sacramento area, adopted permissive policies, McCarty introduced a measure to remove even that authority, citing the need to keep children safe in schools. DeLuz criticized lawmakers for so quickly turning on local control, simply because they disagreed with the decisions being made.
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