THE FOLLOWING IS A GUEST POST BY SAM BOCETTA OF GUN NEWS DAILY
It’s no secret that California has some of the toughest gun control laws in the entire nation, and it’s also no secret to anyone who pays attention to the news that those laws became even more strict this year with a number of new bills that Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed (while also vetoing a handful of others).
But California is not the only state to enact new gun control laws. In fact, several red and blue states alike all across the union have given into overwhelming and immense public pressure created by the Florida school shooting earlier this year to put into law several gun control laws of varying degrees.
In this article, we’ll go over the new gun control laws that have taken effect in California, and then we’ll dive into how other states are following California’s lead with a discussion of the laws that they have enacted as well.
What New Gun Control Bills Became Law In California This Year?
The gun control bills that Governor Brown signed into law this year include:
This bill permanently bans anyone who is convicted of domestic violence in the state of California from owning or possessing a firearm of any kind (extending the ten year probation that previously existed under state law).
This piece of legislation permanently bans firearms possession to anyone who is committed to a mental health facility more than twice a year in California.
This bill required that all applicants for a concealed carry weapons license in California undertake eight hours of firearms safety training from a certified firearms instructor.
This bill banned the sales of rifles and shotguns to any California residents under the age of twenty-one, with exceptions granted for members of the military, law enforcement, or hunters who are licensed with the state.
This bill allows judges to order that any individuals who are deemed mentally unstable surrender their firearms, magazines, and ammunition to the state.
This banned the possession and use of bump stocks in the state following their use in the Las Vegas shooting in late 2017.
Governor Brown also vetoed a number of gun control bills as well. For example, he vetoed AB2288, which would have allowed co-workers, employers, and educators to request court orders to ban firearms from individuals they believed to be a threat to themselves and to others, as well as another bill that would have allowed each California citizen one purchase per month for rifles and shotguns. Brown argued that the bills were excessive and unnecessary.
But even with all of those bills signed into law, it’s heavily unlikely that gun control will stop there. Democratic Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, for instance, is well-known across the nation as being a champion of gun control and in 2016 pushed through Proposition 63, which banned so-called ‘high capacity’ magazines (even though this was challenged in court) and instituted background checks for ammunition in California.
Furthermore, Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a new gun control measure into the state legislature that would enact a tax on all semi-automatic firearms (mirroring measures already in practice in cities such as Seattle and Chicago), and considering the Democratic dominance in the California legislature with Newsom as governor next year, it wouldn’t at all be shocking to see this bill become law in the upcoming months as well.
Now that we’ve covered the gun control bills that have become law in California, let’s dive into how several other states have been following California’s lead to enact tougher gun control measures of their own.
Gun Control Bills That Have Become Law In Other States
Here are examples of gun control bills that have become law or will become law in other states across the country:
Following the shooting that took place at Marjory-Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida lawmakers resisted banning magazines that hold over ten bullets or semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 despite immense public pressure, but they did push through a ban on bump stocks, a waiting period of three days before buying semi-automatic rifles, and raising the gun buying age from eighteen to twenty-one.
Hawaii banned bump stocks over the summer as a response to the Florida and Las Vegas shootings.
Louisiana lawmakers instituted new background checks on gun sales as well as domestic violence restrictions.
Maryland lawmakers banned bump stocks and people committed of domestic violence from owning or possessing a gun in the state.
New Jersey lawmakers banned bump stocks and so-called ‘high capacity’ magazines, while also tightening concealed carry laws and allowing relatives to request a court order to prohibit those deemed a threat to themselves or to others from owning or possessing a gun.
Over the summer, Oklahoma made it a requirement that a resident of the state must have a concealed weapons permit in order to carry a gun.
Vermont banned bump stocks, firearms in schools, so-called ‘high capacity’ magazines, and people committed of domestic violence from owning a gun.
Washington voters passed Washington Initiative 1639, which raises the minimum buying age of a gun to twenty one years of age, enacts storage requirements and waiting periods for semi-automatic rifles, and requires new background checks for purchasing firearms.
There’s no doubt that we haven’t seen the end of the push for gun control even after all of these measures have been passed in California and other states alike, which is exactly why the fight to protect gun rights at the ballot box and in the courthouse needs to be amped up rather than lessened.