Cluster at the Capitol – Surprise Surprise! Legislative Committee Report 5-19-20

“Hello?  Mr. Paredes – are you there?”

“Moderator – is Mr. Paredes there?”  questioned Assemblyman Reginald Jones Sawyer, Chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

“I see that he is in the queue, but I don’t see him” said the moderator.

GOC had a hunch this was going to happen; the Legislature has published a long list of COVID – 19 “required practices” for committee hearings, most which restrict physical access to the State Capitol with most testimony occuring via telephone with a moderator.

“Hello?  Hello? Oh, there he is…”**

GOC’s Executive Director Sam Paredes was finally was able to testify via telephone in opposition to AB 2362/Muratsuchi  which grants vast authority to the Department of Justice to fine dealers for even the most minor infractions.  “This bill is nothing more than a fundraising effort by the Department of Justice for the Department of Justice,” said Paredes. “Why should we give them more authority to exact fines when it is nearly impossible for dealers to communicate with DOJ with questions regarding rules and regulations – plus DOJ can currently rescind a license for any wrong-doing?”

The committee asked no questions and passed the bill.  GOC was not permitted to testify on AB 2847/Chiu which would establish new microstamping procedures. This bill passed as well. Both proposals will soon be heard by the Appropriations Committee.

Senate Public Safety Committee was worse; GOC was thwarted – as were others – from testifying at all.  GOC had jumped through the requisite hoops in order to weigh in on Senator Portantino’s SB 914 (firearm transfers/fee reinstatements), but a heap of technical difficulties stonewalled many eager to give testimony. The committee passed the bill and seemed to be completely unaware that their system was in full melt down until after the hearing had concluded.  How convenient.

How convenient indeed.