CA bill would require parents to notify schools of guns in the home

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Honestly, with all the gun control laws that are already on the books in California, you’d think the Democrats in Sacramento would have run out of ways to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms by now. But the anti-gun left can get pretty creative when it comes to violating our constitutional rights, and a new proposal in the California Senate promises to intrude not just on our Second Amendment rights, but our Fourth Amendment rights as well.

SB 906, authored by longtime anti-gun politician Anthony Portantino, would compel parents of K-12 students to inform their local schools whether or not they own firearms, as well as how those guns are stored in the home.

Commencing with the 2023–24 school year, and each school year thereafter, a local educational agency shall do both of the following using the model content developed by the department pursuant to Section 49391:
(1) Require the parents or guardians of a pupil to disclose, on a form used to enroll or register a pupil for the school year, whether any firearms are located at the home of the pupil and, if so, to answer questions about the ownership, storage, and accessibility by the pupil of the firearms.
(2) Include in the annual notification required pursuant to Section 48980, information relating to the safe storage of firearms.
(b) In addition to the annual notification, the local educational agency may include information relating to the safe storage of firearms on the disclosure form described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).

Portantino is pointing to the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan as his justification for the bill, telling a reporter from the website LAist that “”As we saw in Michigan, a school was notified of a credible threat, and then hesitated to take action and that led to tragic results.”

That sounds like a reason to introduce legislation to ensure that schools take threats seriously, and in fact the one portion of the bill that sounds reasonable to me is the requirement that schools search the locker and personal belongings of a student if they’ve been deemed a “credible threat” to student safety. Rather than stop there, however, instead Portantino made the heart of his legislation an unserious and unconstitutional attempt to demonize gun ownership in general that also violates the privacy rights of California gun owners.

Even if there weren’t glaringly obvious concerns with the constitutionality of Portantino’s proposal, the bill is so fundamentally flawed that it would be useless in actually preventing a school shooting.

First, the presence of a firearm in the home is not an indication that a student will act out violently, so signaling out gun-owning parents and putting them under the microscope accomplishes nothing except ticking them off.

The bill also apparently doesn’t get into the repercussions of not informing the school of your gun ownership or storage habits, so it’s unclear what, if any, consequences there would be for failing to comply.

The bill also states that parents or guardians must disclose their gun ownership and storage habits when a student is first enrolled or registered. What happens if, as in the case of the parents of the accused murderer in Oxford, Michigan, the gun is purchased during the school year? As the bill is written, the parents would not have been under any obligation to disclose their purchase to the school, because it happened after the school year had begun.

Honestly, though, those issues pale in comparison to the assault on our individual rights presented by the overriding ideology behind the legislation. We’ve already seen California move to allow anti-gun academics access to personal and identifying information about individual gun owners, and now anti-gun lawmakers want every anti-gun school administrator and teacher to be informed about which families have guns in their home.

By the way, do you think those who illegally possess a gun in the home are going to come clean to a school principal or guidance counselor? Yeah, me neither.

No, this is another infringement aimed squarely at those who are lawfully exercising their Second Amendment rights, and my prediction is that if this bill passes not only will it be immediately challenged in court, but the compliance rate is going to be in the single digits, and is likely to lead to an influx of kids being taught in private schools or at home.