With three days to go, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed some of the many gun control bills on his desk and vetoed the rest. While vetoing the worst gun control bill (SB 374) that would have banned virtually all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, he did sign AB 711 which mandates a phase-out of all lead ammo for hunting by 2019.
SB 127 by Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin — Requires that reports by a licensed psychotherapist to a local law enforcement agency of someone who has communicated a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims be made within 24 hours; also requires local law enforcement agencies, when they receive such reports, to notify the Department of Justice electronically and within 24 hours. SIGNED
SB 299 by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord — would require gun owners to report a gun theft or loss to police within seven days of knowing about it. VETOED
SB 363 by Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles — expands the crime of “criminal storage” to include keeping a loaded firearm within premises where a prohibited person is likely to gain access and actually accesses and causes injury. SIGNED
SB 374 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento — would add all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state’s list of banned assault weapons. VETOED
SB 475 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco — would essentially ban gun shows at the Cow Palace by requiring they be approved by San Francisco and San Mateo supervisors. VETOED
SB 567 by Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara — would update the definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore. VETOED
SB 683 by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego — would require owners of long guns to earn safety certificates like those already required of handgun owners. SIGNED
SB 755 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Vacaville — would expand list of convicts who can’t legally own guns to include those with multiple drug or alcohol crimes, street gang members and others. VETOED
AB 48 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley — would ban conversion kits that allow people to turn regular magazines into high-capacity magazines. SIGNED
AB 169 by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento — would tighten exemptions to the law prohibiting purchase of handguns that haven’t been tested and deemed safe by the state. VETOED
AB 170 by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena — would provides that only an individual person, not an organization, may be issued a permit to possess an assault weapon, .50 BMG rifle, or machine gun. SIGNED
AB 180 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland — would give Oakland an exemption from state pre-emption so it can pass its own stricter gun registration or licensing statutes. VETOED
AB 231 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco — would make it a crime to leave a loaded firearm somewhere a child is likely to be able to get it without permission. SIGNED
AB 500 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco — would tighten gun safety laws on safe storage to include households where someone is prohibited from owning a gun; also allows additional time for Department of Justice background checks. SIGNED
AB 538 by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento — Requires a licensed firearm dealer to provide copies of the dealer’s record of sale (DROS) to a firearm purchaser at the time of delivery. SIGNED
AB 539 by Pan — lets someone who’s temporarily prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm to transfer firearms in his or her possession or ownership to a licensed firearms dealer for storage. SIGNED
AB 711 by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate — would ban use of lead ammunition in hunting by mid-2019. SIGNED
AB 1131 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley — would extend from six months to five years the prohibition from owning firearms for those who’ve described a credible violent threat to a psychotherapist. SIGNED
The National Shooting Sports Foundation had this to say, in part, about Brown’s actions on Friday.
“We are greatly disappointed that Gov. Brown decided to sign AB 711, which as we view things today will effectively end or greatly curtail hunting in California, given the restrictions on the use of non-traditional ammunition.” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We will have more to say on this important issue, but it is mind boggling that the governor would shut down this American tradition and actually imperil the substantial conservation funding that is provided to California through the federal excise tax on ammunition.”
Keane continued: “We are pleased that Gov. Brown vetoed SB 374 and AB 180, however, as these proposed restrictions on law-abiding Californians would have done nothing to make the state safer.”
From the Firearms Policy Coalition which includes both the CalGuns Foundation and Cal-FFL as founding members.
Last Thursday, Firearms Policy Coalition Managing Director Brandon Combs delivered 65,000 letters from individuals to the Governor’s office urging Gov. Brown to veto the bills and protect the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“We can thank tens of thousands of individuals who rose to the challenge for today’s defeat of Sen. Steinberg’s outrageous SB 374,” said Combs of the Governor’s veto.
In spite of an “all-in” push for new gun control measures led by extremists like Sen. Steinberg and anti-rights special interest groups including Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action, the gun rights community was able to secure a roughly 80% loss rate for California gun control bills.
“Our Demand Rights campaign ramped very quickly thanks to FPC’s online ‘Take Action’ grassroots activism platform,” explained Combs. “We were able to start up where last year’s successful Stop SB 249 campaign left off. FPC’s unique ability to scale agile grassroots efforts in realtime made the difference in how we were able to pull together such a large, diverse coalition of citizen activists for an unprecedented number of issues.”
Some bills, like Senator Leland Yee’s SB 47 ban on “Bullet Button” firearms, those having a magazine locking device, are likely to return when the Legislature reconvenes.
“We told them ‘not one more inch’ and we meant it,” concluded Combs. ”We’ll celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and come back stronger than ever to fight for gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.”
So far, I haven’t seen any official response to these bills from the NRA-ILA, GOA, SAF, or CCRKBA.
The gun prohibitionists were not altogether pleased about Brown’s actions. While they got some of what they wanted it was not everything.
The Brady Campaign criticized Brown for not doing more.
“We are disappointed that the Governor vetoed important gun reform bills designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We know that these gun policies work and would have saved lives.”
Governor Brown did sign other substantial gun reform bills into law. This includes AB 500 that requires safe storage of firearms in homes where a severely mentally ill person, a felon, or other prohibited person resides, and AB 48 that prohibits large-capacity ammunition magazine “conversion kits” that are used to subvert California’s law to restrict massive firepower of certain weapons.
“California did make strides today, but we wish Governor Brown had done more. There is more work to be done when Californians are still in danger of gun violence every day,” added Stout.
The lefty California-based Courage Campaign went much further in their criticism of Brown calling his actions “cowardly”. They pledge to hold Brown accountable for “kowtowing to the gun lobby” on their fund raising page.
“Today, in vetoing a series of gun safety measures, Governor Brown choose to put craven political considerations above the safety and well-being of California’s more than 38 million residents.
Governor Brown, a former Mayor of Oakland, knows first hand the dangers of gun violence and the need for strong laws to protect California’s residents, which makes his actions all the more inexcusable. With over 1,143 Californians dead from gun violence since the Newtown massacre, next time there is a murder with an assault weapon, the Governor will have blood on his hands and have to answer for his vetoes today. This is the kind of cowardly behavior we expect from out NRA-owned elected officials in Washington, not from a California democrat who should know better.
The anti-hunting organizations, however, were quite pleased with Brown for signing AB 711 which banned lead in hunting ammo. The Humane Society of the US led the charge on this and got their wish.
“California has led the nation in creating humane laws, and today’s action by Governor Brown to eliminate lead from hunting ammunition is an incredible victory for wildlife and humans alike,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “This common-sense law should serve as an example for the rest of the nation on the urgent need to stop releasing this dangerous toxin into the environment.”
Many in the hunting community in California have been divorced from the fights for gun rights as shotguns and bolt action rifles have not been targeted. By signing AB 711, Brown may have finally pushed California hunters to think more about gun rights in general as they are no longer “safe” from the anti-gunners.
Given the length of this post, I’ll save an analysis of Brown’s signing and veto messages for another time.