California: Senate Floor Votes Expected this Week and More Bills Appear!

Gun Rights

The California Legislature continues to fast track firearm related legislation, making bills eligible for floor votes as early as this week. Additionally, the legislature is continuing their underhanded tactics of “gutting and amending” bills. This means they replace the entire text of a bill with new language picking up in the process wherever the bill may be. As we reported previously, the ammo excise tax was revived through this process, and now two new bills have emerged this week. Senate Bill 505, previously relating to the labor code, is now legislation requiring firearm owners to carry liability insurance; and Assembly Bill 2870, previously a gambling bill, now creates a massive expansion of California’s red flag laws.

Senate Bill 505, introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-9), makes a person who owns a firearm strictly civilly liable for each incident of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from the use of the firearm. Additionally, the legislation requires a firearm owner to obtain and continuously maintain insurance as well as keep evidence of this coverage with the firearm at all times. Requiring firearm owners to carry insurance will do nothing to reduce gun violence, which is often committed by repeat criminals who will not be paying the fees or obtaining insurance. This is simply one more cost and restraint on law-abiding citizens exercising their rights. SB 505 has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee where it awaits a hearing date. 

Assembly Bill 2870, introduced by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-53), expands California’s gun violence restraining order to allow additional reporters, to now include faith leaders, roommates, dating partners, and additional family members, out to the 4th level of consanguinity and affinity (this could include out to the first cousin in-law or a great-great-grandparent). These orders are not based upon criminal convictions or mental adjudications, but are based on third party allegations, stripping citizens of their rights with minimal or no due process, for up to five years. AB 2870 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee for June 28.

Please contact your state senator and ask them to OPPOSE Assembly Bills 311, 1594, 1621, 1769, 2156 and 2571.

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Eligible for Senate Floor

Assembly Bill 311, introduced by Assembly Member Christopher Ward (D-78), prohibits the display or sale of any “precursor firearm parts” at gun shows on the Del Mar Fairgrounds of the 22nd District Agricultural Association. The bill previously would have applied to gun shows on all state property, but it was amended in committee to just the Del Mar Fairgrounds. So-called “precursor” parts are not regulated as firearms under federal law; however, they are regulated under state law and are 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.

Assembly Bill 1594, introduced by Assembly Member Phil Ting (D-19), creates a private right of action against firearm industry members for failure to implement “reasonable” controls. This intentionally vague term can subject the industry to crippling lawsuits regardless of whether there is any actual violation of law. The firearm industry is already highly regulated through federal and state laws, with violations carrying stiff penalties. This is the latest salvo in gun control advocates’ long-running effort to circumvent the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which ensures Americans have reasonable access to firearms. The PLCAA does not prohibit lawsuits against the firearm industry for knowingly unlawful sales, for negligent entrustment, and on traditional products liability grounds.

Assembly Bill 1621, introduced by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-65), expands what is considered a ”precursor part” under existing law and requires serial numbers on those parts. Further, it expands the definition of “firearm” for purposes of criminal and regulatory penalties to include “precursor parts.” And finally, it prohibits the possession, transfer, sale, or advertising of milling machines that have the sole or primary purpose of manufacturing firearms. Unfinished frames or receivers are not regulated as firearms under federal law; however, they are already regulated under state law and are 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 and continue to discourage law-abiding hobbyists who like to build their own firearms, such as to suit their own needs, for the pursuit of the craft, or to explore emerging manufacturing techniques.

Assembly Bill 1769, introduced by Assembly Member Steve Bennett (D-37), prohibits officers, employees, operators, lessees, or licensees of the 31st District Agricultural Association from entering into any agreement to allow for the sale of any firearm, firearm parts, or ammunition on property or buildings that comprise the Ventura County Fair and Event Center or properties in Ventura County and the City of Ventura that are owned, leased, operated, or occupied by the District. This imposes a one-size-fits-all restriction to prevent officials from deciding how to use venues.

Assembly Bill 2156, introduced by Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (D-15), reduces the number of firearms a private citizen can manufacture in a year from 50 to no more than three. In addition, it prohibits private citizens from using 3D printing to make firearms, precursor parts, or magazines. This arbitrary ban on 3D printing only harasses law-abiding hobbyists who wish to explore this new and emerging manufacturing process. It does not impose a similar ban on legacy manufacturing methods, such as milling, stamping, casting, welding, or injection molding, all of which are proven methods for making reliable firearms. It is already illegal under federal and state law for prohibited persons, such as felons, to possess firearms, including ones they make themselves, regardless of manufacturing method.

Assembly Bill 2571, introduced by Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-16), bans advertising or marketing firearms or ammunition in a way that is “attractive to minors,” replacing the language in current law banning specifically “advertis[ing] to minors.” This vague term can potentially ban all firearm advertisements or activities involving firearms, such as hunting and hunter education. Though minors may not purchase firearms or ammunition from dealers under state and federal laws, many minors do use firearms for legitimate purposes under adult supervision and instruction, such as for hunting, competition shooting, and recreational shooting. Advertisements appealing to adult shooters and hunters also appeal to young shooters and hunters. While these young shooters and hunters are not buying firearms or ammunition themselves, their mentors do often include them in the process when shopping to teach them about selecting equipment that is safe and suitable.​

Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to contact your state senator and ask them to oppose these bills.

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