California lawmakers and voters passed a slew of new gun and ammunition laws in 2016 that will significantly affect the state’s more than 6 million firearms owners. Gun dealers say the overlapping laws have created confusion. Ryan Sabalow The Sacramento Bee
California lawmakers and voters passed a slew of new gun and ammunition laws in 2016 that will significantly affect the state’s more than 6 million firearms owners. Gun dealers say the overlapping laws have created confusion. Ryan Sabalow The Sacramento Bee

Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Capitol Alert

Gun groups fight California bills they say will drive up cost of firearms

By Alexei Koseff

akoseff@sacbee.com

September 19, 2017 06:00 AM

California significantly tightened its firearms restrictions last year when it enacted a broad package of bills regulating ammunition sales, expanding the state’s prohibition on assault weapons and banning the possession of high-capacity magazines. Those laws are currently being challenged in court by gun rights groups.

Nothing so sweeping passed this legislative session. But California gun owners are nevertheless raising objections to a half-dozen measures that recently moved to the governor’s desk for consideration, which one organization characterized as lawmakers “grasping at straws” to make it seem like they’re doing something on gun control.

“They’re finding it harder and harder to come up with anti-Second Amendment legislation that they deem to be reasonable,” Firearms Policy Coalition spokesman Craig DeLuz said.

The Firearms Policy Coalition is among the groups now lobbying Gov. Jerry Brown to veto measures like Senate Bill 464, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, requiring new security measures for storing inventory at gun shops, and Assembly Bill 1525, by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, updating the warning labels displayed on firearm packaging and in businesses.

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Supporters argue these policies will help guard against burglaries at gun stores and keep consumers informed of many coming changes to state law. DeLuz contends they do nothing but unnecessarily burden manufacturers and sellers, ultimately driving up the cost of buying a gun in California or driving shops out of business: “It’s just going to provide additional cost to firearms retailers.”

Gun rights advocates’ biggest target this year is Assembly Bill 424, by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, which eliminates the ability of school districts to permit firearm possession on their campuses. Just two years ago, the Legislature rolled back a law that allowed concealed carry guns in school zones statewide, leaving the decision up to local officials.

But after five districts, including one in the Sacramento area, adopted permissive policies, McCarty introduced a measure to remove even that authority, citing the need to keep children safe in schools. DeLuz criticized lawmakers for so quickly turning on local control, simply because they disagreed with the decisions being made.

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WORTH REPEATING: “You should check out the derivation of ‘Trump-ite’ and ‘troglodyte,’ because they both refer to people who dwell in deep, dark caves.” – Brown, speaking Monday at a climate change event in New York

MEETING OF THE MINDS: Brown continues his climate tour of the northeast today with a stop in Connecticut for the Yale Climate Conference. Brown will join Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, World Bank President Jim Kim and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo for a discussion on city, state and regional efforts to combat climate change, moderated by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The forum will be streamed lived at 7:30 a.m. in California.

GET OUT THE VOTE: California may not have extended the franchise to 17-year-olds this year, but Secretary of State Alex Padilla is still putting a spotlight on young voters. As part of the semiannual High School Voter Education Weeks, Padilla is touring California to promote a new toolkit that helps 16- and 17-year-olds pre-register to vote, so that their registration automatically becomes active when they turn 18. He will visit Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley at 10:30 a.m. to urge students to get involved in civic life.

FAKE NEWS: Has the rise of President Donald Trump proven that the truth no longer matters in politics? Reps. Adam Schiff, the Burbank Democrat who has made himself one of Trump’s biggest nemeses in Congress, and Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, will weigh in on the roles of citizens, the media and politicians in a “post-factual era,” 1 p.m. at the University of Southern California.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff