California Bill Proposes Gun Rationing Scheme

The state of California has so many gun regulations that it’s difficult for anyone outside of the state to keep them all straight. In fact, it’s probably only the miracle of a couple of Supreme Court decisions that have prevented it from trying to ban guns outright.

But California’s inching ever closer to that line.

The state’s latest effort? A gun rationing proposal that would limit gun owners to one firearm per month.

A bill has been reintroduced in the California state legislature that would limit the number of guns Californians can purchase to just one per month. A similar measure was vetoed last year by outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown.

In the aftermath of the Nov. 7 Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Newsom went on record supporting tougher gun control laws. He wasn’t specific on any piece of legislation but indicated there were bills Brown rejected that he favored.

“I’ve been as transparent on gun issues as any candidate for higher office in decades,” Newsom told reporters in November. “I think we can even do more and better.”

California Senate Bill 61, introduced by Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino, would impose a prohibition on the purchase or transfer of more than one firearm within a 30-day period. California law already prohibits any person from purchasing more than one handgun per month.

What this bill has to do with the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting is beyond me. The killer there used a single handgun with an already banned-in-California standard capacity magazine. Nothing about this would have had any impact on that incident.

But it will impact a number of lawful firearm purchasers.

For example, the bill extends the previous rationing, so it applies to long guns. That means a man who started to get interested in hunting–an activity that is great for wildlife conservation efforts in every state in the country–and needs a different weapon later in the month for a different kind of hunting is screwed.

In some parts of the state, deer season overlaps with some upland bird seasons. The .308 bolt-action you have for deer is an awful choice for pheasant. Yet someone just getting into hunting may want to try both out, yet they’ll run afoul of this very law.

The only way this will do anything is put professional straw purchasers out of business. Those are the people who make a good bit of their money just going around and buying guns for people who can’t pass the background check.

The problem is, those are a tiny portion of gun sales. I’d be very surprised if they totaled more than a hundredth of all gun sales in the state of California. More importantly, I think the lawmakers behind this know that. They also know that this won’t stop people from making straw buys, it’ll just mean criminals need to recruit enough people to do it, so they don’t have to use the same one more than once per month.

Instead, their prejudices are rearing their heads. They think that since they can’t see any reason a law-abiding citizen would need to do that, there’s no reason to do so. That’s simply not true. At all.

But this is California we’re talking about here.