The state of California has the most extensive gun control laws in the nation. It didn’t stop them from having two mass shootings just 44 hours apart, mind you, but they’ve got them.
What’s more, they believe in them, despite the numerous failures.
In fact, it seems lawmakers in the state are considering still more gun control.
Lawmakers, local leaders and law enforcement agencies announce new laws centered around combatting gun violence in California.
Members from Prosecutors Alliance of California along with survivors of mass shootings gathered in Monterey Park, the site of a recent deadly mass shooting in support of the new laws. Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhanbra) whose district includes Monterey Park, Monterey Park Mayor Jose Sanchez, LA District Attorney George Gascón and gun violence survivor LaNaisha Edwards were also in attendance.
“It’s unconscionable that we allow law enforcement agencies to resell guns in our communities,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, the founder and executive director of Prosecutors Alliance in a statement. “To make matters worse, we have failed to remove guns from individuals convicted of serious crimes. These proposed gun safety bills will limit the rapid proliferation of guns on our streets and keep guns away from those who threaten our safety.”
Now, this isn’t a lot of detail, of course, and we’ll get into them as we go. There are three bills being brought up for consideration. One of these is just about better communication with non-English speakers in the event of something like a mass shooting, which is ultimately outside of the things we cover, so I won’t get into it.
The other two are more of what I want to discuss today.
The first measure AB 732, is aimed at strengthening the process of removing firearms from individuals who are listed by the government as prohibited from owning a firearm due to a criminal conviction. The measure would increase the process of prosecuting attorney’s and courts seizure of any firearms at the time of someone’s conviction.
I have an issue with this, but it’s not a hill I want to die on. Those who are convicted of a felony should be afforded an opportunity to dispose of their firearms in a manner they prefer, such as through a lawful sale of such weapons.
It’s California, after all, so we know it would have to go through an FFL either way, so there’s no reason not to allow that.
The next one is a bit more interesting, though.
The second measure, AB 733 would prohibit state and local agencies from selling ammunition, firearms, firearm parts and body armor. It would ensure that the government agencies are following best practices and that they are not contributing to putting firearms into local communities.
“With shootings happening almost daily at schools, grocery stores, churches and dance studios, we can’t rely on heroes to stop the endless scourge of gun violence plaguing our country,” Fong said, in a statement. “Lawmakers are the ones who have the power to end this plague, and I’m proud to take leadership on this effort to help get weapons off our streets. I look forward to working in partnership with the Prosecutors Alliance of California and gun safety advocates to pass these measures.”
Except that law enforcement isn’t just standing on a street corner selling guns to whoever has a few bucks at that moment. All of those gun sales are routed through licensed dealers in accordance with federal and California state requirements.
So what gives?
Well, we have to remember that in California, the view tends to be that guns are akin to magic talismans. They bring evil everywhere they go and as such, they cannot be trusted in the hands of ordinary people.
See, these used firearms are sold in the exact same manner as newly manufactured firearms. They’re just cheaper because they’re used. As such, people who couldn’t ordinarily afford a firearm might now be able to.
In other words, it benefits your average to poor gun buyer and not the ultra-wealthy and, as such, isn’t good.
Let’s also remember that this law wouldn’t put a gun in the hands of anyone who wasn’t actively looking to buy a firearm.
Yet it’s not just gun buyers this would hurt. Many departments offset the expense of updating their service weapons by selling their own firearms. This would prevent them from doing that, making it harder for police officers to have the best possible options for defending their life.
On every level, this is an absolute trainwreck in the making. My hope is that this goes nowhere.
Unfortunately, it’s California, so we all know better.