Articles Posted in Fire Arms & Weapons

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California is taking a big step toward combating the growing 3D-printed gun market. 3D printing has rapidly gained in popularity over the last few years. People have used the technology to create anything from small model guns to working firearms. While people may create 3D-printed guns as a hobby, the lack of restrictions has caused lawmakers to address safety concerns.3d-printed-gun-300x225.jpg

Registration Required for 3D-Printed Guns

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 857 into law. It imposes new restrictions on guns that are created through the use of 3D printers or similar technology. Going into effect on July 1, 2018, the law requires anyone who creates a firearm through 3D-printing to apply for a serial number or other mark of identification through the Department of Justice, a process that also requires a background check.

The owner of the firearm must affix or engrave the serial number into the firearm within ten days of receiving it. Additionally, 3D-printed plastic firearms would be required to have a piece of stainless steel embedded into the plastic, making them impossible to pass through metal detectors.

Time for a Change?

Under this new law, failure to register a 3D-printed handgun is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 364 days in county jail. Failing to register any other type of firearm is also punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in county jail. Having additional firearms is considered a separate offense.

Recent incidents of gun violence across the country are likely the driving force behind this new legislation. Many use 3D printing as a hobby but creating guns can be potentially dangerous. The lack of registration on 3D-printed guns, including how easily they could pass through traditional security measures, makes them hard to control and govern.

3D-printed weapons have the potential to be mass produced very cheaply, and lawmakers want to prevent California residents from distributing them without consequences. When this law goes into effect in 2018, it will put more restrictions in place to track who is creating guns and how they are being used. Continue reading →

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California’s stance on gun control is changing drastically. Several new laws that were recently passed place more restrictions on how guns and firearms are handled. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed these six new stricter gun control bills into law. Brown sees the new laws as a way to improve public safety while also protecting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners.

Restrictions on Ammunition

Concealed Weapon AttorneyTwo of the new laws involve restrictions on owning and purchasing ammunition. Senate Bill (SB) 1235 requires those who purchase ammunition for guns to undergo a background and driver’s license check. Purchasing ammunition would enter the buyer into a database that is monitored by the Department of Justice.

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The city of Richmond, California has started a unique program to attempt to decrease gun violence. The program is run by a government agency called Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) and targets a small “focus” group of 50 or so individuals who are at “high risk” of gun violence. Officials work with the group to prevent predicted dangerous behavior.

Crime to Shoot Guns in the AirAs an incentive to shoot guns, members of the focus group, called “fellows,” receive a monthly stipend of between $300 and $1,000, depending on how successful they are in the program. The program lasts for 18 months and fellows can receive the stipend for up to half of their time. The ONS staff works with the fellows on a “life map” of goals, and to achieve personal stability before the age of 25.

According to ONS Director Devone Boggan, the agency is tasked with “identifying the city’s most lethal young men and asking them to partner with us in a very unique way to help us do something we cannot do with them…eliminate gun violence.”1 One media outlet calls the unique approach an inoculation against violence as a disease in which the most dangerous carriers are identified and targeted, allowing for community stability.2

The Results of Paying for Peace

While the program is too new for its effectiveness to be thoroughly evaluated, since its inception in 2007, the murder rate in Richmond has decreased significantly. Murders have dropped from 47 homicides per 106,000 residents to less than 15 murders per 100,000 residents, lower than it has been in more than 30 years. The National Council of Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) found that the work of the ONS, coupled with other factors, was a significant contributing factor in the decline.3

According to the NCCD, of the 68 high risk individuals to go through the ONS program, 94 percent are still alive, 84 percent have not received gun injuries, and 79 percent have displayed no gun-related activities.

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concealed carry murderAccording to a recent report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed carry permits issues in the U.S. has jumped from 4.6 million to 12.8 million since President Obama took office. Yet, the number of murders across the country has fallen. The report reveals that since 2007, the murder rate has dropped about 25 percent, from 5.6 per 100,000 people to 4.2.

Not only has the amount of concealed handgun permits increased, the number is rising year by year. Between 2013 and 2014, more than 1.7 million new concealed carry permits were issued, a 15.4 percent jump over permits issued from 2012 to 2013. Some say these statistics prove that most people own firearms for protection, not to commit crimes.1

However, a report by the Violence Policy Center finds that concealed handguns were involved in 561 incidents across the country that resulted in 743 deaths, with 259 of those incidents being ruled as self-defense.2 The center reported that the ratio of criminal homicide to justified homicide is at only 38 to 1, meaning that for every 38 murders, only 1 is deemed justifiable homicide.

California Homicide Statistics

In California, murder rates have significantly dropped along with the rest of the country. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of homicide crimes involving handguns dropped from 1,619 to 763.3 The number of individuals obtaining concealed handgun permits has also followed the national trend upwards, possibly as a result of several counties dropping the “good cause” standard that required persons to demonstrate a special need before they could obtain a permit. About 70,000 people in California have concealed carry permits.4

The jump in permit applications may be attributed to social unrest, caused in no small part by the riots that have occurred across the country. Interestingly, the number of women and minorities seeking concealed carry permits has jumped significantly since 2007. In fact, concealed carry permits have increased by 270 percent for women while permits for men have increased by only 156 percent.

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Residents of Los Angeles County may soon be subject to additional gun regulations under a local ordinance that would require handguns to be stored at home in one of two specific ways. While proponents of the measure say it will protect citizens from gun violence, opponents of the potential ordinance say the new rules simply serve as tools for disarming lawful gun owners.

Gun Storage Law CaliforniaThe potential new law would require that all handguns be disabled with a trigger lock or stored in a locked container unless the gun is on your person or under your control.1 Though law enforcement would not conduct compliance checks, if a handgun is unsecured in a home and police officers are summoned to that home for some reason, the gun owner could face charges. In fact, if the proposal becomes law, anyone who is found in violation could face misdemeanor charges that carry up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The measure is similar to a San Francisco ordinance under which no gun owner has been prosecuted, but one that has been challenged in court. This proposed law would be in effect within all cities in Los Angeles County. Be aware that California currently has a separate law for improper storage of a weapon.

California Felony Gun Storage Laws (PC 25100)

California has strict gun storage laws if violated. California Penal Code Section 25100 says that if a child or an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm gains access to your firearm and carries that firearm into a public place or inflicts injury to themselves or others with that firearm, you could face felony charges for “criminal storage of a firearm.”

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California’s Penal Code 626.9, also known as the California Gun Free Zone Act (the Act), was enacted in 1995 to further student safety to a from school. The Act makes it illegal to knowingly carry or shoot a gun within 1,000 feet of any school zone; it does not matter whether or not the local school is public or private.

California Gun Free School Zone ActHowever, despite the Act’s restrictions, there are numerous provisions in the law that will exempt you from criminal liability. The law does not apply to merely possessing a gun under the following circumstances:

  • You have written permission by the school district;
  • You’re on private property either at a residence or business as long as you lawfully possess the gun i.e. it’s registered even if it’s within 1,000 feet of a school;
  • You are carrying a concealed pistol or revolver that is (a) unloaded an (b) in a locked container within you’re vehicle;
  • You have a reasonable fear that you might be attacked after you’ve filed a restraining order against another. However, this exemption does not apply if you and your spouse have a mutual automatic restraining order after filing for divorce.

Lawful Course of Business

If you’re a licensed individual engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, wholesaling, repairing, or dealing in firearms, then PC 626.9 does not apply to you, as long as while possessing the gun(s), you were on the job.

Other Exemptions:

  • Authorized military personnel or police officer;
  • Authorized security guard or transporter for a bank, financial institution, or other common carrier

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Gun Advertising Ban CaliforniaIn the latest challenge to California’s strict gun laws, Tracy Rifle and Pistol, along with three other gun dealers, are suing in federal court for injunctive relief from California Penal Code Section 26820, which bans gun dealers from advertising handguns for sale in a way that is visible from outside a store.1

The lawsuit asserts that this California law, which has been in effect for 91 years, violates First Amendment freedom of speech. The complaint states that the law prohibits free speech by restricting “truthful, nonmisleading commercial speech promoting lawful products or services…especially when the products or services are themselves protected by other constitutional rights.”2

The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District, names California Attorney General Kamela Harris, and Stephen J. Lindley, Chief of the California Bureau of Firearms, as co-defendants.

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Prior to February 2014, California gun laws prevented law-abiding citizens from obtaining a concealed carry permit unless they were able to present documented justification for the permit. In February, a federal appeals court voted 2 to 1 to overturn the state’s requirement that applicants cite specific reasons detailing why they need a concealed carry permit.

Concealed weaponIn the court’s decision, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense.”

Federal Appeals Court Will Not Revisit Relaxed Standard

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, law enforcement associations in the state and a gun control group attempted to intervene in the February decision. However, the Ninth Circuit Court said the new relaxed standard may not be challenged, and denied the attempt in a 2 to 1 ruling. Harris, the gun control group, and the law enforcement associations tried to take action after San Diego Sheriff William Gore declined to appeal the February decision.

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According to a recent California Court of Appeals ruling, anyone who is convicted of domestic violence in California will receive a permanent federal lifetime ban on possessing a gun. Under the ruling, you could be barred from possessing a gun for any offensive touching during a domestic violence incident, even if it did not cause physical injury. 1

The decision surrounds the case of a man who was convicted of misdemeanor battery against his wife. Years later, the man attempted to buy a gun but was turned down due to his domestic violence conviction.

Firearms Ban Applies to Non-Violent Attacks

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California already imposes some of the country’s strictest gun control laws. On Oct. 10, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the most significant gun control bill from this year’s legislative session. Senate Bill 374, authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would have banned the future sales of semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines. In addition, current owners of these firearms would be required to register their firearm by July 1, 2015.

What were the Arguments in Support of the New Law?

Concealed%20weapon%202.jpgSenate Bill 374, as well as many of the other gun control bills from this year, was a response by the state legislature to the Newtown school shootings and other gun violence incidents. Supporters of the bill argued that imposing a ban on the sale of these semi-automatic rifles will help prevent other mass shooting incidents in the future. In addition, improving firearms safety laws will help prevent other gun-related deaths and injuries to California residents. In the end, this bill was intended to save lives and improve the public safety for all Californians.

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