The Gun Bills: What Gov. Brown Vetoed - California Case Law
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The Gun Bills: What Gov. Brown Vetoed

Friday could have been doomsday for California gun owners. A package of bills, restricting everything from grandfathered high capacity magazines to so-called assault rifles, would have taken California's gun laws, which are amongst the nation's most stringent, and made them, hands-down, the most restrictive.

And while the signed bills banned lead ammo for hunting, banned high capacity magazine "repair" kits, and beefed up safety and storage requirements, for most gun owners, nothing will truly change after Gov. Brown vetoed the vast majority of the legislation.

Which legislation got canned?

SB 374: Assault weapons are already banned based on an arbitrary list of criteria. This bill would have strengthened that ban, and required registration of millions of guns currently legally owned by California gun owners. In his veto message, Brown noted that in addition to the registration burden (and their inability to sell the guns in the future), that "[t]his ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms."

AB 169: This bill would have closed the "single shot" loophole, which Governor Brown's veto message said, "makes sense." It also would have limited private party off-roster (the state maintains a "roster" of approved "safe" handguns) to two per year. Brown would not approve such a restriction without evidence that it would improve public safety.

AB 180: Oakland has such a long-standing crime and gun violence problem that the issue has its own Wikipedia page. This bill would have allowed it to pass its own gun restrictions and issue gun licenses, which Gov. Brown noted would "sow confusion and uncertainty."

SB 299: Gov. Brown, is this veto message, noted that he vetoed a nearly identical bill last year, criminalizing the failure to report a lost or stolen firearm. Why? "I continue to believe that responsible people report the loss or theft of a firearm and irresponsible people do not. I remain skeptical that this bill would change those behaviors."

SB 567: California law already includes shotguns with revolving cylinders in the assault weapon ban. Apparently certain rifles, with revolving cylinders, can also fire shotgun ammo. It's a loophole for what Brown called "a small group of specialty rifles with no identified impact on public safety."

The law seems to have targeted weapons like Rossi's Circuit Judge, but the broad language could have outlawed some common revolvers (which can fire .410 shells) as well.

SB 755: There may be a correlation between multiple alcohol and substance abuse convictions and a substance abuse problem. There may be a correlation between substance abuse problems and gun-related domestic violence.

That was the justification behind this vetoed bill, which would have "prohibited gun ownership on the basis of crimes that are non-felonies, non-violent and do not involve the misuse of a firearm," Gov. Brown noted in his veto message. Offenses as minor as public intoxication or bicycling while drunk would have qualified.

Reaction

Unsurprisingly, there are some very unhappy people out there. The "Courage Campaign" told the San Francisco Chronicle that "With over 1,143 Californians dead from gun violence since the Newtown massacre, next time there is a murder with an assault weapon, the Governor will have blood on his hands and have to answer for his vetoes today."

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the author of SB 374, stated "I believe aggressive action is precisely what's needed to reduce the carnage in our communities, and to counter the equally aggressive action by the gun industry," reports The Blaze.

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