By Jeff Knox
It’s a bad bill being pushed by radical anti-hunting groups like the Humane Society of the US and Defenders of Wildlife.
The ban on lead ammunition isn’t the only threat Californians are facing. Other gun control bills pending would seriously impact California gun owners and those who would visit the state. As I write this, there are four bills scheduled for an immediate vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. From there they would go to the full Assembly for a vote, and then, potentially on to Governor Jerry Brown.
Some supporters of individual rights will roll their eyes at this report and suggest that California is a lost cause with the only solution for California gun owners being to move to a more gun-friendly state. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, and those who do get out, leave those who can’t in an even worse situation than before. More important, California is historically a proving ground for all manner of bad ideas and crazy schemes that eventually spread to the rest of the country.
Successfully stopping the lunacy in California reduces the chances of similar legislation being brought up in other states around the country.
Here are the four bills the Appropriations Committee was scheduled to vote on Friday, August 30:
- SB-47, outlawing guns with “bullet buttons.” California currently restricts “assault weapons,” the definition of which includes a semi-auto with a readily removable magazine. In order to have the most functional rifles allowed by law, California gun owners developed a magazine system that requires the use of a simple tool for removal. This system is commonly referred to as a “bullet button” because the original versions could use the point of a bullet as the tool for removing the magazine. Under SB-47, firearms currently fitted with a “bullet button” or similar system would be reclassified as “assault weapons,” banning future sales and transfers, requiring registration, and payment of a special tax.
- SB-53, requiring that people acquire a permit to purchase before they can buy ammunition, and that all ammunition purchases be registered. (An expensive recordkeeping nightmare.)
- SB-374, classifying all semi-auto rifles that have any removable magazine or a magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds as “assault weapons,” banning future sales and transfers, and requiring that the firearms be registered and special taxes paid.
- SB-396, banning the possession of any magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. This ban would include confiscation of the millions of the previously owned, over-10-round magazines that were exempted from California’s original ban. This would also make a wide variety of popular shooting competitions impossible to hold in California, and would invariably make criminals of hundreds or thousands of innocent travelers inadvertently breaking California laws as they cross into the state with the newly illegal magazines.
These proposals are not just unfair, unreasonable, and unconstitutional, they would be expensive and unenforceable, not to mention totally ineffective at accomplishing anything besides making criminals out of ordinary gun owners.
At this point, it’s probably too late to have any impact on the vote in the Appropriations Committee, but if these bills pass out of the committee, they will go to a vote of the full Assembly and if they pass there, they will go on to the Governor, so concerned citizens still have opportunities to let their opposition be heard. There are over a dozen other anti-rights bills pending in the Assembly and Senate as the legislative session is drawing to a close. The legislature is trying to resolve hundreds of bills in a very short time. In that closing rush, they will sometimes pile a bunch of bills together to pass all at once, or to set off to the side and die quietly. Every resident of California – along with anyone who might ever want to visit the state – needs to stay on top of these bills and express their concerns to legislators and the Governor to make sure these anti-rights bills are among those that die in the rush or are vetoed.
An excellent resource for keeping up with California legislation is www.CalGunLaws.com. They offer comprehensive listings of pending legislation and insightful analysis through their blogs and email updates. We will also try to keep readers current with events in the state here and on our web site, www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
The situation in California has reached a critical point. All liberty-loving Americans should be concerned and involved to keep liberty alive in the Golden State.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org