California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to make his anti-gun credentials loud and clear. Speculation exists that he has his eyes firmly set on the White House and it looks like he sees clear opposition to the Second Amendment as the ticket to get there.
However, right now, it looks like Newsom and his allies in the legislature are more willing to start with some unfinished business.
While former Gov. Jerry Brown was far from an ally to gun owners, he still vetoed several gun control bills he thought were unnecessary or too burdensome.
It seems Newsom plans to revisit some of those measures.
Two days after Newsom’s comments, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) reintroduced a bill that had been vetoed by Brown to allow teachers, employers and co-workers to seek court orders temporarily removing guns from people thought to be a danger to themselves or others.
Brown said in his veto message that the Ting bill was not necessary because state law already gives law enforcement and family members authority to seek a gun violence restraining order. But Ting said others are also in a position to identify dangerous gun owners, and Newsom’s election gives him new optimism.
“The governor has expressed interest in doing more on gun safety than the previous administration, and we’re hopeful he takes a second look at our proposal,” Ting said.
Newsom’s election has given similar hope to state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), who has re-introduced a measure vetoed by Brown that would limit Californians to buying no more than one rifle or shotgun a month.
Brown vetoed similar bills, including in 2015 when he said, “Given California’s stringent laws restricting gun ownership, I do not believe this additional restriction is needed.”
Portantino said his revived proposal is needed to prevent straw purchases, in which an eligible owner buys many guns and then sells them to people not authorized to possess firearms. In one recent year, sales to individuals ranging from five to 54 long guns per month occurred on 1,787 occasions — totaling 12,090 guns, he said.
“California may be a Western state, but it’s no longer the Wild West,” Portantino said. “A person shouldn’t be able to walk into a gun store and come out with an arsenal. This issue was just too important to not give it a fresh try with a new governor in office.”
There’s every indication that Newsom will back all of these bills.
In other words, our Californian friends are about to have a whole lot more difficulty added to their lives.
But don’t delude yourself. California isn’t Las Vegas. What happens in California doesn’t stay in California. Instead, it spreads out to infect other states. Gun control proponents in state legislatures look at these measures and think, “What a great idea!” They don’t care to see if they actually work. No, that would make too much sense.
Instead, they take the ideas and push them elsewhere.
Over time, these measures don’t look as insane to other states. Mostly because California and other anti-gun states have gone on to do even more insane things, and the Overton window will shift. Some of these measures will become law in states that don’t have such an insane record on gun rights.
So we need to fight against these laws and fight against them hard — all of us.