California Governor Signs Bills Mandating Long-Gun Registration and Banning Open Carry
Dark Day for 2nd Amendment Rights
California Governor Jerry Brown acted on several firearms-related bills on Sunday, October 9th. Gov. Brown waited until literally the last hour on Sunday to act on firearms-related legislation sent to his desk this session. Several anti-gun and anti-industry bills were signed into law, including long-gun registration. “Sadly, the steady erosion of the Second Amendment in California continues,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Gov. Brown has now proven that he no more respects freedom and the individual right protected by the Second Amendment than his predecessor. These bills will increase costs for the taxpayer and the state’s retailers, most of whom are small mom-and-pop businesses. It will cost the state jobs and tax revenue, all the while doing absolutely nothing to reduce crime.” Below are summaries of the gun-related bills signed into law by Gov. Brown:
AB 809 (Feuer, Democrat, West Hollywood): Long-gun registration: SIGNED INTO LAW. In a nutshell, AB 809 mandates long-gun registration, starting January 1st, 2014. The bill does this, essentially, by treating long guns the same as handguns. The bill requires FFLs to make long gun sales information available to the California Dept. of Justice, and imposes new requirements on persons bringing long guns into the state. AB 809 also burdens “peace officers” with responsibilities for the compilation and retention of long-gun information.
SB 819 (Leno, Democrat, San Francisco): SIGNED INTO LAW. This bill allows the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to use Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) funds for purposes unrelated to administration of background checks. There is currently a lawsuit pending that challenges the past misuse/misappropriation of these funds by the DOJ. The DROS fee now becomes a sanctioned revenue stream for the DOJ.
AB 144 (Portantino, Democrat, La Canada): SIGNED INTO LAW. This bill bans open carry in the state. This revokes a long-standing right of California citizens that has been in effect for more than a century. The bill would make it a misdemeanor to openly carry an unloaded handgun on the person or in a motor vehicle in public areas and would make it a misdemeanor to openly carry an exposed handgun in a public place or public street. Existing laws otherwise ban open carry of loaded handguns and ban concealed carry without a permit — something virtually impossible to obtain in many California Counties.
SB 610 (Wright, Democrat, So. Central Los Angeles): SIGNED INTO LAW. This bill, which modifies the state’s concealed-carry application process, may actually benefit CCW applicants in a modest fashion. First, the bill provides that no concealed carry applicant would be required to obtain liability insurance as a condition of the license. This bill also provides that the applicant would not be required to pay for training courses prior to a determination of good cause being made.
Photo of Gov. Jerry Brown by Phil Konstantin.
Brown Vetoes Vague Ammo Registration Bill
One source of good news was Gov. Brown’s veto of SB 427 (De Leon, Democrat). This was sort of a re-run of an earlier bill (“handgun ammunition registration”) that Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law. That statute was successfully challenged in court as unconstitutionally vague. The case is on appeal. DeLeon’s revived bill required registration of specified calibers but also contained vague language regarding “handgun ammunition.” In vetoing the bill for now, the governor said, “Let’s keep our powder dry on amendments until the court case runs its course”.
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