With only Four Days Left in the 2013 Legislative Session, California Gun Owners Must Remain Vigilant.
By: Clint B. Monfort
San Diego, CA --(Ammoland.com)- The warnings were real.
They are now coming for your guns, your magazines, your money, and your home protection. I’m somewhat surprised they are not after your blood, though indirectly they are.
In a move that should have surprised no one, a gaggle of California’s elite (or should I say elitist) legislators dumped a stack of gun control bills into the legislative hopper this session. Together these bills seek to ban detachable magazine rifles (period), ban and confiscate existing factory magazines with capacities greater than ten rounds (period), ban traditional hunting ammunition, ban mail order sales of all ammunition, and require government approval to buy any ammunition at all.
I’ll break down this insanity in a minute, but ponder for a moment how these laws will affect your average gang member. Thinking … thinking … I couldn’t come up with anything, either.
Not letting a good crisis go to waste, senators mainly from urban areas where guns laws have largely disarmed the public (though not the criminals) dropped a slew of new proposals this year that are designed to completely eliminate some of your rights while chiseling away at the core of the Second Amendment by making exercising your rights excessively burdensome. If passed, there will be confiscations (according to the Senator from Oakland), you will jump dog-like through legal hoops to own a handgun (proclaims the Senator from San Diego) and you will have to say goodbye to your hunting rifles (commandeth the Senator from Sacramento).
Let’s review the worst of the bunch, though nearly nothing in the stack of proposed legislation can be considered “good.”
The Senate’s President (Pro-Tem) Steinberg has authored a bill to eliminate the future sale, purchase, manufacture, importation and possession of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines. No more mini-14s, no more ARs, no more M1s, and say goodbye to your Remington 750 for deer hunting. Naturally, Steinberg blames the “gun industry” for “[flooding] our communities with rapid-reload battlefield weapons.” None of Steinberg’s biographies note military service, so perhaps he can be forgiven for not knowing a hunting rifle from a soldier’s best friend. Steinberg’s demonstrable ignorance aside, the goal is clear – if it is a rifle and has a detachable magazine, then forget about owning one.
Seemingly not to be outdone, Oakland-area Senator Loni Hancock is pushing to ban your standard capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds – anything over that, and any kits that facilitate the expansion of the magazine size will be banned. During the Senators’ gang-like press conference earlier this year, Hancock bluntly stated that the law would require outright confiscation of all such magazines. It must have escaped her observation, but street criminals (mainly gang members and the ones responsible for most Oakland homicides) prefer revolvers and smaller capacity 9mm pistols due to their concealability. Amusingly, instead of showcasing California criminals, Senate press materials used Tucson lunatic Jared Loughner as their bogus bogyman. You would think that being from Oakland she could find more locally-relevant material.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from the otherwise pleasant town of Santa Barbara wants to redefine firearms in general by inventing the “assault shotguns” classification. Jackson wants to add more shotguns to the list of “bad” guns, despite these firearms rarely being used in homicides. If your shotgun uses a cylinder instead of a tube to store shells, prepare to surrender it, even if both firearms have the same capacity. If you track and hunt with a combo rifle/shotgun, tell your kids they won’t have the privilege to inherit yours. In the same effluvium stream of press fodder, senators specifically equated the “Circuit Judge” sporting arm with the vilified “Street Sweeper”. Somehow the similarity is illusive to everyone outside of Loni’s chambers.
San Diego’s Senator, Marty Block, doubled down. Marty intends to put you through extended safety training to purchase a rifle, further expanding the time between obtaining a self-defense firearm and confronting an attacker. The training is allegedly for safety, but according to the Center For Disease Control – the official mortality statisticians – firearm accidents now rank at the bottom of accidental deaths (odds are that more children die in San Diego swimming pools than from gun accidents given that in the last CDC reporting year 64 California kids drowned while only 62 kids across the entire United States we accidentally shot).
Not content to make it difficult to acquire a handgun, Marty wants to make lending your gun to someone for self-defense virtually impossible. His legislation makes it illegal to loan gun in many common situations. When your daughter is being harassed by her estranged husband, but faces a training demonstration requirement before she can lawfully possess it, you won’t be allowed to lend her your spare revolver, despite the fact that you taught your daughter to shoot and taught her gun safety as well. But Marty insists he is looking out for her.
Sadly, there is more. But the battle lines have been drawn. Given their way, you will have to climb legal mountains to protect your family, be licensed to buy ammo should you actually obtain a gun, and forfeit your rifles and shotguns once the definition of “assault weapon” is stretched beyond all rationality.
This week marks the final week of the 2013 legislative session. In addition to these ill-conceived proposals, several other anti-gun bills and anti-hunting bills with serious consequences for gun owners, sportsmen and Second Amendment supporters are awaiting their final vote on the floors of the state Senate and Assembly. These misguided anti-gun/anti-hunting bills could be up for a final vote any day this week. For a complete list of bills requiring immediate action, and information on how to contact your representatives, click here.
The deadline for each bill to have finally passed both houses of the California legislature is September 13. Bills that make it out of the legislature on or before that date will then move to Governor Brown’s desk, and he will have until October 13 2013 to sign or veto each bill. Bills that are signed into law will become operative on January 1, 2014, unless a later date is specified in the law.
For now, gun owners must continue to call, write, fax, and e-mail their legislative representatives. Flooding legislative offices with phone calls and written letters is particularly effective. If you have already written a letter on each bill, consider writing another.
After September 13, it will then be time to put pressure on the Governor to veto the anti-gun bills that have made it through the legislature. Although it has been rumored that the Democrats have a “supermajority” that will allow them to over-ride a veto, the number of rural, pro-gun democrats should prevent this, so veto requests will be critical. Governor Brown has been quoted as saying he “isn’t that bad on guns.” It will soon be time for all California gun owners to contact the Governor and remind him that it is time to make good on that statement.
Together, gun rights advocates and grassroots California gun owners can defeat these attacks on law-abiding gun owners. We will defeat as many bills as possible in the legislature. We will call on the Governor to veto proposals that reach his desk. And we will take to the courts to overturn proposals that are passed.
This is the battle they have wanted. This is the battle they must lose. Now is the time to remain focused and redouble our efforts.
About the Author:
Clint Monfort is an attorney at Michel and Associates, PC who specializes in firearms law, constitutional law, and civil rights litigation. Mr. Monfort also serves as a legislative analyst and consultant for the California lobbying arm of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
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