California Legislature Continues Its Gun Control Roll

The first of several proposals geared at restricting gun rights in California successfully cleared their first committee hearings yesterday (April 14, 2015) at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

GOC Executive Director Sam Paredes testified  before the Senate Public Safety Committee, speaking in strong opposition to SB 347 (Jackson), which would expand the list of persons prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms for a 10-year period to include those convicted of specified misdemeanors.  He also testified in opposition to SB 707 (Wolk), which removes exemptions permitting retired law enforcement and those who have a valid concealed weapons permit from carrying on school grounds.

“SB 347 is sharply inconsistent with the national standard, because there are no limitations on the purchase of long gun ammunition for anyone over the age of 18 – regardless of caliber,” said Paredes.  “This legislation would quite literally tie the hands of hundreds of California high school trap shooting teams.  Plus, active and inactive members of the military, many of whom are under 21 would be prohibited from buying ammunition – which is absurd given they are highly trained in both firearms and ammunition use.”

The issue of limiting ammunition is also the subject of a case currently before the state Supreme Court; both State District and Appellate Courts have held that California’s definition of what constitutes handgun ammunition is unconstitutional (Parker v. California). 

In his testimony opposing SB 707, Paredes cited there is no demonstrated evidence that school children and administrative personnel have ever been in danger as a result of current exemptions in the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.

“There is no reason to disallow people who have been appropriately granted the ability – by law enforcement – to carry a concealed weapon on or near school grounds.  What’s even more ridiculous is that it would also apply to retired peace officers, making it literally impossible for a retired member of law enforcement to pick up their own children or a teaching spouse from any school,” stated Paredes.

Both bills passed out of Senate Public Safety with Democrats supporting and Republican members casting “no” votes. 

Killed on a party line vote in the same committee was SB 566 by GOC friend, Senator Pat Bates.  Her bill sought to add honorably discharged members of the military to the list of those exempted from having to acquire a Firearms Safety Certificate before buying a gun.  Testifying in support, Paredes said “Since firearms training and safety instruction in all branches of the United States military far exceeds all knowledge of safety requirements found in California’s Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC) program, all honorably discharged members of the military should be exempt; to do otherwise is an insult to those who have served.”

Gun Owners of California has a 40 year history of fighting for effective crime control and opposing ineffective gun control.   It has been the consistent mission of the organization to work toward common sense solutions regarding the issue of crime without sacrificing Constitutional rights and the ability of the law abiding to protect their home and families.   

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