The clock struck midnight and the citizens of California are safe – at least temporarily! The California Senate and Assembly adjourned the 2015-2016 session last night and wrapped up one of the most devastating legislative terms in recent history with too many awful bills ultimately making it to the Governor’s desk.
2016 was an anti-gun year on steroids – not only were a record number of bad bills introduced, but it was the year of the duplicate proposals – multiple bills bearing the same language were introduced by multiple authors at varying times, which had GOC scrambling between the Assembly and Senate Chambers, asking “don’t you people communicate?”
Although it is a routine practice to have mirrored bills introduced in opposing Houses, this year was out of control – there were so many similar measures dealing with similar issues but with different authors that staff and even Democrat members were asking “Who the heck’s on first?” It really got quizzical when bills were being pushed that were virtual duplicates of what the Governor had already signed. (It’s a pretty safe assumption that the authors were hedging their bets and using these bills as last-minute place holders in case they wanted to further mess with our gun rights.)
When the gavel pounded sine die, two bills that GOC opposed passed and will soon land on the desk of Governor Brown. As bills go, AB 450 is not as awful as some the Governor signed, but it’s 100% shameless because it was introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) in direct reference and as an ugly salute to Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. A longtime friend of GOC, Sheriff Jones has demonstrated his unwavering support of the 2nd Amendment by issuing significant numbers of CCWs to Sacramento County citizens. This was in sharp contrast to his predecessors, and to the disdain of liberal local elected officials who made the absurd claim that Sheriff Jones was handing out permits like “Halloween candy….”
AB 450 mandates that an issuing authority (local law enforcement) charge a fee “sufficient” to cover the cost of supplying and overseeing CCW permits. The bill was supposedly introduced because of erroneous statements that some localities were charging “inadequate fees” to cover such costs, thus meriting “immediate attention.” In truth, this bill is a thinly-veiled and punitive attempt to insert the state into decisions made by local law enforcement. Local law enforcement is in no need of guidance from Sacramento on how much to charge for CCW permits; GOC joined the California State Sheriffs Association in opposition, and we encourage our members to contact Governor Brown at (916) 445-2841 and request his veto.
We also have requested a veto of SB 1332 (Mendoza/D-Artesia); although this proposal appropriately requires the Department of Justice to make reasonable alterations regarding the joint spousal registration of a gun, GOC is concerned that the onerous regulations and restrictions on the loaning of a firearm is unnecessary and will create an undue hardship on law-abiding gun owners.
Lest you think we are finished for the year, you couldn’t be more wrong! We are working on strategies to fight the implementation of the bills signed by Governor Brown, and we are educating people on Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s duplicative and misleading initiative on the November ballot. And, most importantly, we are in the trenches working to elect pro-gun legislators, because that is the most effective way to stop the anti-2nd Amendment juggernaut at the State Capitol.
We can’t do it alone – we need your help! Be armed – be informed and join GOC!