CA To Scrutinize Hunting Licenses For Those Under 21

The state of California isn’t a big fan of anyone having a gun. That’s especially true of adults under the age of 21, apparently, despite an exception in state law that allows those very same people to buy a gun if they have a valid hunting license.

Of course, that exception seems to be much of the problem in the first place.

While the state doesn’t seem interested in ending that exception, what they’re considering might be even dumber.

A California Democrat responsible for some of the state’s strictest gun control laws wants to tighten oversight of hunting licenses through a proposed law that he says was inspired by a shooting last year at a San Diego County synagogue.

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, introduced legislation on Monday to require the state Department of Justice and gun retailers to determine the legitimacy of hunting licenses issued for people under 21 before a gun is purchased.

He announced Senate Bill 914 in response to the April 2019 shooting at Chabad of Poway that left one dead and three more injured after an accused 19-year-old gunman allegedly purchased a firearm with an invalid hunting license and opened fire at the synagogue.

“Sadly, no one can undo the tragedy that occurred in Poway,” Portantino said in a press release. “I pray for the families and hope the lessons learned can be used proactively for a better and safer place for our Californians to worship and for families to raise their children in safety.”

Now, I’m not thrilled that the shooter in Poway used a fake hunting license, but Portantino is deluded.

First, no one would have sold that gun if they knew the hunting license was fake. They’re not stupid and would know that the state of California would come down on them like a ton of bricks. No one wants that kind of headache.

Portantino wants gun sellers to do a more comprehensive background check, apparently, though. Somehow. By adding more information to the background check. Because there’s no way that won’t go wrong.

Of course, he’s wanting the California Department of Justice to handle all of the required databases. To say this has received some criticism is an understatement.

“You’re now asking the DOJ, which has a history of bungling databases and juggling databases that do not speak to each other, to hire personnel that can make everything work together,” [Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California]. “And you’re going to add by necessity the California Department of Fish and Wildlife into it in order to verify the hunting licenses because they’re the ones that maintain that database. We envision a coordination nightmare.”

Which is probably exactly what will happen. One thing we’ve seen in recent years is that to err is human, but to really foul something up, you need the California Department of Justice to be on the case.

Should this pass, expect to immediately hear of difficulties for law-abiding, hunting-license holding adults in purchasing firearms because the state can’t maintain a database to save their lives.

Which would be fine if it would lead to an end to this foolishness of barring lawful adults from buying guns, but it won’t. Not in California. As such, it’s going to be a colossal cluster-flop and we all know it.

Jan 19, 2022 8:30 PM ET