We’ve long known that the endgame for the gun control movement is complete disarmament of the citizenry. Gun grabbers may not ever be able to achieve that, but they know that they’ll never even get close if they try to do it in one fell swoop. Instead, these gun control activists have to ratchet up their rhetoric and proposals a notch or two at a time, slowly.
California is a lot further down the line than most. More importantly, perhaps, the state’s looking to go down it even more.
California’s legislative tiller has rolled its way through the new year, allowing for several new gun control laws to sprout from the seeds of last year’s bills. So far, the new laws have been subject to praise from UC Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, California and national leaders.
The new laws include:
- Senate Bill 1100: Raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21
- Assembly Bill 1968: Imposes lifetime gun-ownership bans on individuals considered to be “dangerous gun owners”
- Senate Bill 1346: Bans bump-stock devices
- Assembly Bill 3129: Imposes lifetime gun-ownership bans on individuals convicted of domestic violence
- Assembly Bill 2103: Requires that individuals applying for concealed-carry weapons permits undergo a minimum of eight hours of training
- Senate Bill 1200: Magazines and ammunition can now be temporarily confiscated as part of a gun violence restraining order
I.V. and UCSB community leaders have oftentimes held vigils after mass shootings occur in the United States and around the world, calling for stricter gun control laws in both California and the country to prevent future mass shootings. To some extent, their calls seem to have been heard.
Hannah-Beth Jackson, Santa Barbara’s state senator representing California’s 19th district and author of SB 1346, optimistically expressed approval for the new gun control laws.
While the article quoted praises pretty much all gun control laws, most of these aren’t anything new. They’re retreads of federal laws or policies we already see elsewhere. That’s not to say they’re good, mind you, but they’re already in place elsewhere.
But AB 1968 is troubling.
Here’s the part of the bill that bothers me.
Existing law makes it a crime for a person who has been taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a designated facility because he or she is a danger to himself, herself, or others, as a result of a mental health disorder to own a firearm for a period of 5 years after the person is released from the facility. Existing law allows a person who is prohibited from owning a firearm pursuant to these provisions to petition the court for a hearing in which the district attorney is required to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the person would not be likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner. If the people do not meet this burden, existing law requires the court to order that the person not be subject to this prohibition on the possession of firearms.
This bill would prohibit a person who has been taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a designated facility because he or she is a danger to himself, herself, or others, as a result of a mental health disorder and who was previously taken into custody, assessed, and admitted one or more times within a period of one year preceding the most recent admittance from owning a firearm for the remainder of his or her life. The bill would extend the above hearing process to a person under these provisions. Because a violation of the firearm prohibition would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
In other words, no matter how much better you might get, you’ll never own a firearm again.
That sounds fine when you’re talking about a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks everyone is out to kill him for the radio transmitters embedded in his femurs, but it doesn’t differentiate between him and the guy whose life falls apart and has to be stopped from killing himself because it’s more than he can take.
The depressive might get better. They may never reach a point like that again in their entire lives, but this bill will permanently bar them from owning a firearm ever again.
As a result, people may be less likely to seek treatment for fear that they’ll be institutionalized and deprived of their Second Amendment rights, which isn’t good for anyone.
But that’s California for you.