California Update: Bill Filing Deadline Passes

Gun Rights

February 19th was the bill filing deadline for the California State Legislature. A few more bills to place restrictions on your already diminished rights, as well as one to protect your rights, have been filed.

Anti-Gun

Assembly Bill 1223 taxes firearms at $25 each, and ammunition at a certain percentage yet to be determined, in order to fund social services programs for “gun violence.” Such taxes are to be collected from California retailers on new firearms sold and on their retail sales of ammunition. It is unjust to saddle law-abiding gun owners with such special taxes to fund social service programs. Such a measure makes it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to exercise a constitutional right and discourages them from practicing to be safe and proficient with their firearms for purposes such as self-defense, competition, and hunting. 

Assembly Bill 1509 shows just how disingenuous Californian legislators are about stopping “gun violence.” It reduces the penalties and sentencing enhancements for criminal misuse of firearms. The legislators who support not holding criminals accountable for their actions are the same ones who continue to harass law-abiding gun owners.

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Assembly Bill 311 prohibits the display or sale of any “precursor firearm parts” at gun shows in the state. So called “precursor” parts are not regulated as firearms under federal law; however, they are regulated and limited to being transferred by licensed vendors in California. Such restrictions continue to cut off access to law-abiding individuals who are looking to acquire firearm parts in accordance with existing law.

Senate Bill 264 bans sales of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property in order to ban gun shows at these venues. SB 264 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 16th.

Senate Bill 252, the bill to ban bear hunting, was previously withdrawn by its author. Decisions regulating wildlife management should be made by experts based on sound science, not by anti-hunting extremists.

Pro-Gun

Senate Bill 448 enacts the Emergency Powers Limitation Act, to rein in the use of emergency powers. The legislation provides protections for express constitutional rights, including “[t]he freedom to acquire and bear lawful firearms and ammunition,”​ when the state government utilizes emergency power. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many anti-gun officials, including at both the state and local levels of government, took the opportunity to unilaterally suspend Second Amendment rights by shutting down gun stores and ranges. Unfortunately, this coincided with many Americans’ first attempt to exercise their Second Amendment rights and resulted in them being unable to access arms, ammunition, or proper training. This bill protects the constitutional right to keep and bear arms from such politically motivated attacks and ensures that citizens can exercise that right when they need it most.​

While the filing deadline has passed, lawmakers can still insert anti-gun language into “spot bills.” Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.

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