California

More Harassment of Gun Owners in California

One-party government marches on.

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The latest round of gun-control bills speeding through the California legislature should offer a reality check to those of us who own firearms: Democratic leaders will never be satisfied closing the latest round of "loopholes." Every year they push new rounds of "reasonable and common sense" gun laws, few of which seem reasonable given they target law-abiding owners. To many legislators, the Second Amendment is the real loophole.

Most Reason readers already know this, of course, but they might not understand some other dismal realities: Law enforcement is generally not on our side on this. For instance, Assemblyman Jim Cooper, the Elk Grove Democrat the Sacramento Bee refers to as "law enforcement's man at the Capitol," is the author of several of the latest Assembly bills. Some sheriffs have opposed Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's anti-gun initiative likely headed to the November ballot, but others are actively championing new restrictions.

Furthermore, California Republicans have been complicit in the current mess. Sure, the vast majority of them oppose new gun restrictions and give thunderous pro-Second Amendment speeches in the state capitol. Yet Republicans deserve a large portion of blame for creating what I've long referred to as the state's "infrastructure for confiscation" given their support for the Armed Prohibited Persons System.

As a way to prove they are eager to take guns from the hands of criminals, legislators passed APPS in 2007. We're the only state with a database that cross-references names of gun owners with names of those who—because of criminal convictions, mental illness or the issuance of a restraining order—are no longer allowed to own them. The state Department of Justice then sends agents to the door to confiscate those weapons.

The Legislature authorized an audit of the program under a 2014 law and gave it $24 million in additional funding. Last year a group of GOP legislators sent a terse letter to Attorney General Kamala Harris complaining she hadn't hired enough new agents—and her department didn't confiscate nearly enough supposedly illegal weapons.

It was a good way to chide an attorney general who is running for U.S. Senate, but consider it in the context of the latest legislative flurry. One Senate bill would prohibit the possession of detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. "If it passes, the owners would need to sell them to a licensed dealer, transfer them out of state or turn them in to law enforcement to be disposed of," according to the Bee.

APPS looks like a model for state officials to potentially grab newly created contraband. Furthermore, the state auditor and gun-rights groups estimate the APPS list is anywhere from 37 percent to 60 percent inaccurate, which means Justice Department agents are going door-to-door to take guns from many people still legally allowed to own them. Has the GOP outsmarted itself here?

These fundamental issues don't muster discussion in our one-party state. The current "debate" centers on intra-Democratic rivalries. Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, is building his campaign around his statewide initiative proposal. (Supporters have submitted their signatures.) Senate Majority Leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, isn't a Newsom supporter and already has moved his similar package through the full Senate.

Some of these basically are harassment bills. One would limit your ability to lend out guns to family members. Another would require background checks for ammo purchases. (Note to readers: Stock up on ammo now.) Others are silly. If you craft a homemade gun, you would be required to give it a serial number and have a background check. I'm guessing many people who make such guns do so to evade detection.

Another would create a Firearms Violence Research Center at the University of California—destined to be yet another government-funded propaganda center. As columnist Dan Walters noted, the Democrats rammed their 11 bills through to pressure Newsom to drop his initiative, which they fear will bring out pro-gun voters in the general election.

The number of guns owned by Californians has soared over the past two decades, and the population has grown dramatically—yet firearms-related deaths have fallen over the years. Is gun violence a problem of gun supply by legal owners or the behavior of criminals? Whatever happens to these bills this year, the legislature will ignore the obvious answer and be back again next year with more. For gun owners, there's little left to rely on other than the courts.

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  1. California here we go!

    Maybe to Texas, or Colorado…

    1. Do yourself a favor and avoid Texas. You’ll only be trading the tyranny of the left for the tyranny of the right. I just left Texas to come back home to California. If all we can do is sit back and watch the world burn, we might as well do it in a place where we can get a good burrito.

      1. And Texas is even happier than you are that you left.

    2. Colorado’s heading down this same dark road.

    3. Yeah, this whole system is hitting levels I find concerning. Glad to be moving out of California but the red states don’t make me feel warm and fuzzy either.

      It’s great that I can own my guns, but realizing when I go to my dad’s in TN that I’m a liberal scumbag because I don’t hate gays doesn’t make me feel like setting down roots is a great option.

  2. Eh… Yawn… So what? Local elections have consequences. If Sacramento County wants to limit the number of bullets that can be loaded into a firearm from 15 to 10 that’s the end of civilization? Give me a fucking break, Militia Man.

    If you want to play shoot ’em up why don’t you gun fanatics move to a shithole like Reno. They need some California money out there.

    1. Fuck off and die, you fascist pig.

      1. But how is he supposed to punish his political enemies if they’re allowed to defend themselves? It’s just not fair!

    2. Local elections have consequences.

      So do elections in Germany circa 1933. Yes, I went directly there.

    3. Since your crowd just held their warm-up for Kristallnacht in San Jose, I’m going to say go fuck yourself with a cactus, and the same to every other gun-grabbing commie scumbag.

      -jcr

    4. Which is what any socon would say about mandatory prayer or abortion restrictions. People who cheer the authoritarian abuse of their fellow citizens hiding behind the fig leaf of “democracy” have no right to complain about anything the state does to them or anyone they care about. In your case I think the common good requires your forced sterilization. I am sure anyone who has met or interacted with you would consider that a no brainer yes vote.

    5. “american socialist” Control freak, fucktard adds his two dumb cents. The moron quotient increases the more this idiot types his “comments”.

  3. I still don’t know if I want to stay in cali or leave.

    1. That being said, I have a suspicion the east coast club scene isn’t as dominated by corporate whores like it is in the LA area.

      1. No, it’s dominated by Wall Street whores and failed academics, both of which are even duller (but also more desperate).

    2. The choice will eventually be made for you by the powers that be.

    3. I’m actually not concerned what the $15 minimum wage was us going to do. I foresee that impacting things that are more tangible … Like food prices and such. I imagine the house cleaners and yard people (who I’m sure don’t file taxes) will raise prices since their cost of living will also rise.

      Essentially, I imagine everyone not driving their luxury cars with “feel the Bern 16” is going to get hosed by this deal.

  4. I thought it was crazy here in South Florida, but this article makes California look -suicidally- insane. Deciding whether 15 vs 10 bullets in a clip is or is not criminal — what?? Legislative navel-gazing at its finest.

    1. But this bill could save MILLIONS of lives. Everyone knows it takes a full 10 secs (if you’re stupid and extremely slow) to eject an empty clip and replace with a full clip. That 10 secs are all our wonderful, heroic, omnipotent law enforcement needs to stop an active shooter.

      /sarc

      1. I actually tried this with a pair of Magpul 30-rounders that aren’t quite perfect fits for my SKS, and it would only take me ten seconds if I had to go grab the second magazine off of a shelf in my closet. It’s seriously maybe a three, four second task, and that’s if you’re not in a rush.

      2. My Garand automatically ejects an empty clip, but won’t eject a magazine.

    2. I’m trying to resist the pedantic urge to argue clip vs magazine.

      1. Would the non-detachable magazine law allow clips?

    3. The decision between 15 and 10 cartridges in a magazine was actually made quite a while ago. It’s been limited to 10 rounds for all new magazine purchases. This bill that’s rocketing through the Calif. legislature allows for CONFISCATION of formerly-grandfathered magazines that can hold greater than 10 rounds, so it’s much worse than our resident troll american socialist makes it out to be.

      Confiscation is, after all, one of the hallmarks of the end of civilization, or at least the end of nations. Don’t believe me? Read “When Nations Fail.” The very definition of “extractive institutions” is organized confiscation, and “extractive institutions” always cause the failure of a nation, once there are enough of them in place.

  5. The socialists want a disarmed citizenry and will do anything to achieve that end.

    1. Of much greater concern are the invisible hands on weapons held by professional employees of The Political State, none of whom produce anything of worth. Ask yourself what tools will provide sustenance for all those “unproductive hands,” and by what means?
      Or try this experiment: politely ask a gun control looter if they have any objection to DEA or IRS agents having assault rifles.

  6. To many legislators, the Second Amendment is the real loophole.

    NO! We don’t want to take guns away, we just want anyone who wants a gun to have to go through a lengthy and expensive criminal background check, a lengthy and expensive mental health evaluation, obtain 700 different forms of ID to prove their identity, justify their desire for a gun to federal, state, and local law enforcement and get permission at each level to have one (and self-defense doesn’t count!), wait a reasonable amount of time (and we get to define ‘reasonable’ in this context), and then, maybe you might get one of the very few types of guns we feel the citizenry can be trusted to own. Then go through the same process every time you want to buy ammunition for each weapon you own.

    It’s just common sense!

    1. Also, we’ll probably start trying to do the same for 3D printers once they get cheap enough.

      Common sense!

    2. and when all that doesn’t work, we will try to see if there is anything else we can restrict to “help.” for the children.

    3. Doesn’t violate the spirit or intent of “shall not be infringed” at all.

    4. But a photo-ID to vote is beyond the pale.

      1. Only if you want to vote Democratic!

  7. Others are silly. If you craft a homemade gun, you would be required to give it a serial number and have a background check. I’m guessing many people who make such guns do so to evade detection.

    Expect mandatory registration of drills, mills, and lathes next.

    1. I just pictured myself building an AR and stamping “0000000001” on it.

      1. The requirement is for an identifier; it doesn’t have to be strictly numeric. I’d recommend starting with “fuckoffslavers001,” proceeding from there.

      2. In Canada we need to register all handguns (don’t get me started). I bought an old one that didn’t have a serial number. I was forced to have one stamped on the frame. It was 001. They weren’t happy, but I said “you wanted a number, now it has one” they finally accepted it….

        1. missed opportunity for a 007

        2. and thus RUINED any historical value that gun had.

  8. So, as it turns out, the point of registering guns is in fact to create a list that the government can use to confiscate them later. I’m shocked, shocked I say!

    This is, btw, why it’s important to do things like build guns yourself (very easy to do thanks to 80% lowers and various kits) and otherwise obtain guns under the radar. Not for nefarious purposes, obviously, but to make the statement that the government not only doesn’t have the right to regulate your ability to defend yourself and your family, but that it cannot do so effectively.

  9. “Do leftists want to take our guns?” isn’t a question I have to seriously consider. All you have to do is watch them in California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, D.C. and other places where they hold sway and the question answers itself. It insults my intelligence when they try to say otherwise.

    1. Yep. The religious “right” creates laws that make everyone a criminal, and the secular bureaucratic “left” sends professional gun-toters out to tote up all non-government guns, hemp, other enjoyable substances, and homes, automobiles, bank accounts, cash, jewelry, tools, securities, land and chattel “suspect” in possible involvement in violating the laws that make everyone a criminal. Once all guns are in the unproductive hands Adam Smith wrote about, These States will be as progressive as Brazil, Cuba,Venezuela and the other banana republics.

      1. Please list those “religious right” laws?

        1. marriage, sex, forced religious beliefs, the ability of government to take away your personal property and give it to someone rich so they can become richer, and so on.

          One thing I do not understand about gun control talks is the fact that most of the mass killings by guns are by guns that are acquired legally, people who owned the guns legally or would have been legal if some of the laws people complain about eliminated.

          1. You mean like insisting you can marry your sister, that sex by 8 is a beautiful thing, that worshipping at the church of Gaia or being prosecuted, the destruction of farmland for the sake of a fish, and so on?

            Haven’t seen anything like that anywhere but the Left. But you keep fighting the cardboard people in your head.

            1. I hate being forced by those religious right Pentecostals to worship Gaia and marry her sister.

  10. Dividing the Kleptocracy into the slightly dissimilar National and Socialist parties allows more efficient control while preserving the illusion of choice. And let’s at least admit that the APPS is less discriminatory than the old Kristallnacht law–that disarmed only persons of Jewish ancestry or culture. This way ALL non-government personnel are stripped of all possibility or temptation to act in defense of selfish and discredited “individual” rights.
    I am confident 1939 will bring great improvements, putting the Common Good before the Individual Good.

  11. “One Senate bill would prohibit the possession of detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. “If it passes, the owners would need to sell them to a licensed dealer, transfer them out of state or turn them in to law enforcement to be disposed of,” I think and hope this is inaccurate. My understanding of the bill is that guns with detachable magazines only have to be registered as an assault weapon and can not be sold. you also can’t buy anymore of them. its a bad law either way but we want to be accurate.

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  13. Ignoring the main point of the column, I’m curious about the suggestion that “one-party rule” is bad. Part of the idea/reality of political parties is that not everyone agrees, and so we form lose groups to champion certain platforms in various levels of government.

    It is the *objective* of all political parties, including the Libertarian party, to reach a “one party rule” situation, so long as *they* are the “one party”. That way they can implement their ideas (which naturally, they think are the best, at least insofar as measured by their preferred metric) with minimum opposition.

    I mean seriously, who’s going to say “my ideas are better implemented when I have to beg deal and borrow, and ultimately compromise, with a group that doesn’t actually want them implemented, and in fact may be sabotaging them, then when I can implement them only relying on support from people that actually want them to succeed”?

    1. “…I’m curious about the suggestion that “one-party rule” is bad.”

      “Part of the idea/reality of political parties is that not everyone agrees…”

      You seem to have answered your own question.

      1. Nah. That we don’t all agree is why you *need* one-party rule to carry out your controversial agenda.

    2. I would rather have parliamentary rule at this point. It’s still appears to be a fiasco, but at least everyone realizes compromise is required not a bug in the system.

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  15. Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media whores who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media whores tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    American Thinker

    1. These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

      Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.

      Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

      American Thinker

      1. Hey look, one of The Federalist’s resident Gun Nutters has wandered over to Reason.

    2. there are more guns than people in the US so you musty feel safe. Thr safest place t be is in the middle of a battlefield as everyone has guns.

      1. A battlefield is usually filled with people who’ve been ordered to shoot their guns at other people, not people with no externally-ordered objective to kill.

      2. Having grown up where guns were commonplace and crime very rare, I actually do feel safe around guns, knives and armed people. Guess your hoplophobia is showing.

  16. — For gun owners, there’s little left to rely on other than the courts.

    … and eventually, political assassination and violent revolution.

    1. ?”eventually”? try overdue.

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  18. New York’s magazine capacity ban has already been struck down by an appellate court.

    1. I read about that, but I think they are still limited to a prior ban’s 10 rounds. (The ban that was struck down was for 7 rounds.) 10 is still a severe restriction when the free states can freely buy 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, 100 round mags and drums (and the crime rates are no higher in such states than in the major metropolitan areas).

  19. I wonder why we continue to nibble around the edges and don’t just pass a law mandating a perfect society.

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  26. RE: More Harassment of Gun Owners in California
    One-party government marches on.

    The one party (democrats) are on the right path.
    One cannot have a socialist slave state if the unwashed masses are armed.
    Just ask Hitler, Stalin or Castro.
    They wouldn’t lie.

  27. FEDGOV can’t even keep track of their own guns.

    FEDGOV is “missing” several thousand of their guns,some being full-auto machine guns. that does not include US military arms losses. TSA alone is missing 100s of their guns. Then state and local law enforcement have guns stolen from their vehicles frequently. Former Orlando POLICE CHIEF Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her unmarked SUV in 2009,and years later,it still hasn’t been recovered. OPD has “lost” 2 AR-15 kits,and had 2 machine guns stolen from vehicles.
    Post-9-11,several armed Federal employees have LEFT their loaded handguns on commercial air flights and deplaned,the guns being discovered by other passengers. One guy in Alabama stole rifles (real assault rifles,select-fire) and grenades from Anniston Army Depot.
    guns will ALWAYS be available to those who really want them.

  28. the Second Amendment of the Constitution is NOT ABOUT hunting or sporting.
    semi-auto,magazine-fed rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47 are today’s modern MILITIA weapons,and thus should be the most protected of firearms under the Second Amendment.

    Militiamen were expected to appear for muster bearing arms and ammo similar to and compatible with what the Regular military had in use AT THAT TIME.
    Since we “compromised” and restricted ownership of full-auto,true assault rifles,that leaves the semi-auto versions for civilian militia use.

    In US v Miller,SCOTUS asked if a short-barreled shotgun was a weapon that a militia would commonly use,implying that arms protected by the 2nd Amendment were arms a militia would use. AR-15’s,M-16’s and AK-47s would be ordinary militia arms,and “hi-capacity magazines” also would be protected.

    somebody in CA ought to use this reasoning as a basis for a lawsuit against their “assault weapons” ban and magazine limits.

  29. One party government is what you get from illegals taking over your state.

  30. As a Brit I have been through the ludicrous process of confiscation for no reason – albeit with compensation. It is the most humiliating experience to be branded a criminal whilst being one of the most law-abiding people in society – a legal gun owner! And just how much has the removal of legal pistols reduced armed crime in the UK? Not a bit of course as the crims still have pistols. In any major city it is a piece of cake to buy an illegal weapon in a low-life bar. All you need is ?200 to ?300 and a bit of time on your hands to convince the seller that you are not a law enforcement plant.

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