Brown signs some of worst firearm legislation ever passed in state
By JIM MATTHEWS
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law five of the most onerous gun control laws ever passed in the state this past week -- and not a single one will do anything to help solve crime or stop gun violence. But it will have a huge impact on legal gun owners who now face higher fees and further restrictions on what types of firearms they may own.
All of this legislation is what I have come to call “class discrimination” legislation. These are bills that discriminate against and target a class of people who are increasingly treated like second-class citizens -- gun owners.
We’re being asked to sit at the back of the bus, and rules that govern us are separate but certainly not equal. Here’s a quick summary of what was passed/signed and equivalents that don’t exist for other owners of legal products:
AB 1235: By far the worst piece of legislation signed by the Governor was this one. It sets up an amazing paperwork nightmare and taxation scheme to register and keep track of ammunition purchases. First, gun owners will have to pass a background check and pay a $50 fee for the “privilege” of buying ammunition and then a $1 per transaction fee each time you buy ammunition. The $50 fee/permit will probably need to be renewed annually. The vendor must provide the Department of Justice the ammunition buy’s information, creating a registry of gun owners, and each ammunition purchase will be logged. Vendors must also pay exorbitant fees, keep track of the paperwork nightmare, and risk losing their ammunition and firearms sales licenses for minor paperwork errors.
Many non-gun owners don’t see a problem with this. “We all know those guns and ammunition are dangerous,” right? A simple question: Since far more people are killed by drunk drivers and other alcohol-related crimes each year than with firearms, let’s apply the same logic: We mandate an annual $50 alcohol buying fee for anyone who wants to purchase a six-pack or bottle of wine, and charge a $1 per purchase fee for each transaction. This will undoubtedly reduce drunk driving and alcohol-related crimes. Right?
AB 1466: This bill makes it illegal to possess a rifle or pistol magazine holding more than 10 rounds. California is now a confiscation state. If you have a 12 or 15-round magazine, which are pretty standard sizes on a lot of handguns and rifles. The state will take them from you if you don’t get rid of them before a deadline. No compensation, they take them and cite you.’
Can you imagine this state’s legislators mandating that you can’t own a vehicle that gets less than 40 miles per gallon or has more than 300 horsepower. You don’t need that power and it’s a waste of gasoline. If you have something that violates this rule, the state can take it. No compensation. Are you howling that’s not the same? OK, think knives. The state has made attempts to ban knives/swords that have blades longer than a certain length or certain features. (For example, you can’t own a switchblade -- a knife that pops open with the touch of a button. But is a switchblade more dangerous than a knife opened by hand or one with a blade fixed open? No! A switch blade is just kind of scary, so it was banned). It is much more difficult to kill someone with a knife having a blade less than two inches. So why not ban all longer blades? Do we really need a 12-inch carving knife in the kitchen? Give it up and we will save lives. Sound stupid? That is how stupid high capacity magazine bans sound to gun owners who know it takes less than a second to change most magazines.
AB 1135: Obviously, the legislature knows that the size of the magazine is irrelevant. It has already banned “assault weapons,” which none of them can define, which have detachable magazines. This new bill also bans a certain class of “assault weapons” that have magazines that can be removed with a simple tool -- a loaded round of ammunition can be used to depress an internal button -- to remove the magazine. Called “bullet button” guns, the liberal legislators felt aggrieved when gun owners found a way around the detachable magazine ban. No, there hasn’t been a single case where “bullet button” guns were used in a crime. The legislators were just annoyed that those back-of-the-bus gun owners were uppity enough to disobey their rules. Well, they’ve showed us.
AB 1511: This one makes it illegal to loan someone a firearm, with some exceptions for family members. You, of course, see what vague concept drives this concept: The governor and legislature don’t want you to give a gang-banger friend your Glock for a night of terrorizing the ‘hood. So why hasn’t the legislation passed laws that make it illegal to loan your car to someone (they might use it in a drive-by)? Why isn’t it illegal to loan your martini shakers to anyone ever convicted of drunk driving? Nothing good could come of that. Now, I can’t loan my neighbor a rifle for deer season when he finds out at the last minute his scope is broken. My brother-in-law could be arrested for loaning .22s to his step kids for target shooting -- even if they have their own guns, too.
AB 1695: This bill creates a 10-year prohibition on owning a firearm if convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm. There is not the equivalent legislation for lying about stolen cars, knives, or UPS deliveries. Why not?
These bills are nothing more than gun owner discrimination. (I challenge anyone to give me a rational explanation how any of these bills will help prevent, fight, or solved crime -- e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org) Gun owners are increasingly second-class citizens because we own firearms, and I thought we were trying to end all types of discrimination in this nation.
YOUTH SAFARI DAY: The 18th Annual Youth Safari Day will be held Saturday, July 16, at Mike Raahauge Shooting Enterprises in Corona. The day-long event exposes youngsters to a wide variety of outdoor activities from kayaking and rock climbing to fishing and target shooting, from bird watching and call-making to paintball games and falconry. Cost is $14 per child when pre-registering or $20 the day of the event. For information, go to youthsafariday.com.
MOJAVE PRESERVE YOUTH HUNT: The application period for the Mojave Nation Preserve 2016 Youth Quail Hunt is now open. The event is for kids 10 to 17 and will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, on the special youth only opening day of quail season in the Preserve. The event is only open to the first 50 youths who apply at https://npsquail.mojavedata.gov.
MARK THE CALENDAR: The new SoCal Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show will be held November 4-6 in Perris at the Southern California Fair and Event Center (adjacent to Lake Perris). Image a smaller version of the Fred Hall Show in the Inland Empire. For more information, go to www.socalsportmenshow.com.
[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 909-887-3444.]