California Bans Semi-Automatic Rifles, Governer Approves Other Anti-Gun Laws
Gov. Brown signed into law several different pieces of anti-gun legislation yesterday.
One of the most grevious and pointless — in terms of public safety, as less than 4% of all firearm murders are committed with _any_ type of rifle, of which semi-autos are only a small fraction — is Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880, which reclassifies hundreds of thousands of currently legally owned semi-automatic rifles as fictional "assault weapons" (no such thing exists except in U.S. gun legislation wordings).
i.e. with the stroke of a pen, Governor Brown just made many tens of thousands of law abiding California citizens felons (if they do not otherwise comply).
A just-as-ridiculous and -ineffectual magazine capacity ban was also passed, Senate Bill 1446 limits possession of firearm magazines to 10 rounds or less. Magazines of greater capacity than ten rounds in any particular type of firearm, rifle or pistol, are not a factor in fatal shootings, multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes.
In any case, California has now followed suit with New York and a few other states with preposterous, ineffectual (for public safety) and oppressive laws that will only ever impact in 95% or more cases, fully law abiding citizens. Criminals will obtain their semi-auto rifles and >10-round (read: standard) capacity magazines by other, non-legal in California means.
California: Governor Brown Signs Anti-Gun Bills
The below bills were signed into law:
Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880 would make changes of monumental scale to California's firearm laws by reclassifying hundreds of thousands of legally owned semi-automatic rifles as "assault weapons." This legislation effectively outlaws magazine locking devices, more commonly known as "bullet buttons". These are constitutionally protected firearms that have no association with crime. These changes would happen quickly with great individual costs to many gun owners and without public notice. Governor Brown vetoed similar legislation in 2013.
Assembly Bill 1511 would effectively end the long-standing practice of temporarily loaning a firearm for lawful purposes. Under this legislation the ability to loan a firearm to anyone other than a family member would now be prohibited unless conducted through a dealer, absent very narrow and limited exceptions. A simple loan to a trusted friend for a few days would take almost a month to complete from loan to return, requiring two background checks, two 10 day waiting periods, two fees and multiple trips to a gun dealer. The result of the misguided legislation would turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals simply for borrowing or storing a firearm with a friend.
Assembly Bill 1695 would create a 10-year firearm prohibition for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm. The NRA does not oppose making it a misdemeanor to knowingly file a false lost or stolen report to law enforcement. Our reason for opposition is related to the restriction of a constitutional right for the conviction of a misdemeanor offense.
Senate Bill 1235 would place unjustified and burdensome restrictions on the purchase of ammunition and would require the attorney general to keep records of purchases. This legislation would further require any online ammunition sales to be conducted through a licensed vendor. First and foremost, the reporting of ammunition sales has already been tried -- and failed -- at the federal level. Throughout the 1980s, Congress considered repeal of a federal ammunition regulation package that required, among other things, reporting of ammunition sales. In 1986, the director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms supported eliminating the reporting requirement, stating: "The Bureau and the <treasury] Department have recognized that current record keeping requirements for ammunition have no substantial law enforcement value." As a result, the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 repealed the ammunition restrictions, with little opposition to the removal of that requirement. SB 1235 will similarly fail to reduce violent crime, as a law requiring the registration of ammunition purchases by honest citizens will not deter criminals. Governor Brown has twice vetoed similar legislation.
Senate Bill 1446 would ban the simple possession of ammunition feeding devices/magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 cartridges. The federal "large-ammunition feeding device" ban of 1994-2004 was allowed to sunset due in part to its ineffectiveness. Yet, California anti-gun legislators still are persisting with this ban knowing that the congressionally-mandated study concluded that "the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders" before the ban and the bans 10-round limit on new magazines was not a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes.
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