California’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Year
Article first appeared at America’s 1st Freedom.
Last Friday marked the final day for California Governor Jerry Brown (D) to sign legislation. The good news is that Brown vetoed some anti-gun bills. The bad news—and there’s a lot more of it—is that in this election year, Sacramento politicians who wanted to pretend they were “tough on crime” pushed through every kind of gun ban you can think of, while also supporting laws that decriminalize real crimes and lower sentences on real criminals.
As Chuck Michel, an attorney who works with the NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, explained, “The Democrat leadership that controls the legislature twisted every Democrat’s arm and forced them to vote party-line. And they broke every procedural rule there was in the process. The bills got gutted and amended, the legislators didn’t hold the proper hearings, the bills were rushed to the governor one night, and he signed them the next morning right before he flew to Europe on vacation. The procedural abuse went on and on, adding insult to injury.”
In all, the statehouse passed—and the governor signed into law—seven anti-gun bills ranging from the duplicative to the absurd, including:
- AB 1135, which redefines the ban of so-called “assault weapons” to include firearms capable of accepting any type of detachable magazine, thereby making so-called “bullet button guns”—semi-automatics modified to comply with an earlier California law by replacing the magazine release button with a recessed catch that requires a tool, or a loaded round, to remove the magazine—illegal.
- AB 857, which requires the registration of homemade so-called “Ghost Guns”—the firearms that made California State Senator Kevin De Leon famous for his obvious ignorance of even the most basic facts and terms regarding firearms.
- AB 1511, which criminalizes the lending of firearms between personally known, law-abiding adults including sportsmen and women.
- SB 880, which again expands California’s ban on “assault weapons” by outlawing many additional semi-automatic rifles and pistols with particular attributes, including thumbhole stocks on rifles and second handgrips on pistols.
- SB 1446, which bans the possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and provides for confiscation of such magazines, even if they were legally acquired prior to the law’s passage.
- SJR 20, a joint resolution which calls on the U.S. Congress to spend taxpayers’ dollars on anti-gun so-called “research on the causes of gun violence and its effects on public health”—despite the fact that such “research” has a long history of being politically motivated, purposely manipulated and methodically manufactured to advance the anti-gun prejudices of the foundations that underwrite it.
There’s more, but you get the point.
Apparently, in this election year, California Democrats from Governor Jerry Brown to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to state Senator Kevin de Leon—of “ghost gun” fame, who Chuck Michel says wants to be “the king of gun control in California”—have been trying to outdo one other with the creativity and extent of their attacks on the Second Amendment.“It’s headed to the point where if you have couple traffic tickets, they’re going to say you’re not allowed to own a gun anymore.” – Chuck Michel
The result was a flood of anti-gun legislation in Sacramento this year.
To combat that rising tide, a “Veto Gunmageddon” movement arose throughout the state, with Second Amendment activists gathering signatures on petitions in order to get referendums onto the ballot that would overturn the anti-gun laws. But last week, with the deadline for petitions approaching, the leaders of “Veto Gunmageddon” realized they didn’t have anywhere near enough signatures— they needed 365,000 verified signatures, but had only been able to collect about 115,000.
Meanwhile, the gun-control juggernaut in California proceeds apace, seemingly immune to common sense, constitutional challenge or anything else.
Despite opposition from law enforcement groups throughout California, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 63 will be on the ballot this year. Besides making “high capacity” magazines doubly (or, in the case of Los Angeles, triply) illegal, Proposition 63 would also require background checks—and the fees and hassles attendant—for ammunition purchases.
At the same time, while California politicians attack, erode, restrict and revoke one Second Amendment-protected freedom after another, criminals in California go about their business untouched.
As we’ve detailed here, the federal judicial district that contains San Bernardino ranks dead last—90th out of 90 federal judicial districts—when it comes to federal gun law prosecution. And not surprisingly, San Bernardino leads the Golden State in its murder rate: Right now, it’s on track to have a murder rate this year about 72 percent higher than even blood-soaked Chicago.
According the FBI’s most recent “Crime in the United States,” between 2014 and 2015, violent crime increased in California more than 2.5 times as fast as in the nation as a whole.
Yet California politicians just keep pushing for more and more anti-gun laws that criminals don’t obey, and that no one seems interested in bothering to enforce—except against honest, peaceable gun owners who pose no threat to anybody except those criminals.
Indeed, as NRA’s Ginny Simone has detailed, California’s so-called “Armed and Prohibited Persons System” (APPS) is squandering scarce police resources to send teams of police to go knocking on sleepy suburban doors, confiscating firearms from people who pose no threat to anyone, simply because they can.
As attorney Chuck Michel explained, “It’s all about banning more and more firearms, under more and more pretexts, in more and more places, for more and more reasons, from more and more classes of people, every year. That’s the gun ban lobby playbook.”
Where does it lead? “It’s going to get to the point where if you have a couple of traffic tickets, they’re going to say you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun anymore,” Michel said. “And if Clinton wins, the Supreme Court will be stacked against us.”
And just because you don’t live in California doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. As Michel cautioned, “California is the petri dish where they test and focus-group and perfect this stuff before they export it nationally. And you can bet it’s coming soon—if not to your state capitol, then to Capitol Hill.”