The recent school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has sent shockwaves throughout the country and sparked a national debate about gun control. California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but lawmakers are proposing 10 new gun laws in the wake of this school shooting.
Expanding the Definition of Assault Rifles in California
One important proposed gun law is Assembly Bill 1135, which would expand the definition of “assault weapon” in California. High-powered semi-automatic rifles without fixed magazines would be considered assault rifles under these proposed laws, but most .22 rifles would be excluded.
Firearm Fees to Fund Safety in Schools
Assembly Bill 2497, authored by Assemblyman Jim Cooper, would impose a tax on purchases of guns or ammo in California. These fees would go toward funding more counselors and safety officers in schools.
Expanding Gun Violence Restraining Orders Requirements
In 2014, California passed a “gun violence restraining order” law, which allows family members and law enforcement to petition the court for an order prohibiting someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or owning firearms for up to one year. Assemblyman Phil Ting recently proposed a law that would expand the list of people who can file a petition for a gun violence restraining order to include employers, co-workers, mental health workers and school staff.
Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio also introduced Assembly Bill 2526, which would allow judges to issue gun violence restraining orders orally based on police statements when immediate action is apparent to avoid an act of gun violence.
Restricting Access to Firearms
Some of the bills introduced by California lawmakers would restrict access to guns for certain people. For example, Rubio authored a bill that would impose a lifetime firearm ban on anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
Assembly Bill 1968, proposed by Assemblyman Evan Low, would prohibit anyone who is hospitalized twice under a 5150 hold in a one-year period from possessing or owning a gun. A 5150 hold is an involuntary psychiatric hold for people who pose a risk of harming themselves or others.
A separate bill would allow anyone to add themselves to California’s “do not sell” list, preventing any potential harm those people could impose on themselves or others.
Proposing Changes to Firearm Sales
Other proposed laws would impact sales of firearms and what happens before and after you purchase a gun.
Anyone who wishes to purchase any key part that could be used to assemble an assault weapon would be subject to a background check under Assembly Bill 1673.
Assembly Bill 1903 would prohibit any city, county or state agency from giving out gift cards from retailers who sell guns or ammunition in exchange for voluntarily returning old weapons.
Assemblyman Bill Quirk introduced Assembly Bill 2222, which would require law enforcement agencies to store information regarding recovered firearms in a state database. Under a separate proposed law, agencies would be required to send bullet cases to a central registry in hopes that they could be linked with other guns or crime scenes.
What Happens Next?
At this time, these proposed laws are nothing more than “proposed” laws. All of these bills must go through a long process before they become laws, so it is possible that they do not become laws.
If you are a gun owner in California, it is important to keep with these laws and stay informed about how changes in the law might affect your right to own or purchase particular firearms and ammunition. Bookmark this blog or follow Wallin & Klarich on Facebook for the latest updates.
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