I have been overwhelmed with the number of contacts I have received conveying opposition to all of the gun control bills that are quickly moving through the state legislative process.
California already has some of the most restrictive gun policies in the nation, and new efforts to limit ammunition purposes or impose new taxes, fees, insurance requirements or other regulatory hoops for gun owners would only really impact law-abiding gun owners.
Criminals obviously don’t care what the law says. They will continue to break the law while legitimate gun owners will be compelled to navigate a gauntlet of punitive bureaucratic roadblocks and tracked by government agencies while being forced to pay punitive fees and taxes to exercise our constitutional rights. As the bills wind their way through the legislative process, I will be an ardent and passionate opponent of these bills at every turn. I know the list of bills I have provided below is long, but you should know about the sheer volume and collective impact of the proposals being pushed through at the State Capitol.
Assembly Bill 48 (Skinner) would make it illegal to sell tools to modify magazines and would restrict and track ammunition sales. AB 48 passed the full Assembly on May 29 by a vote of 46-26 and is now in awaiting a committee assignment in the Senate.
Assembly Bill 169 (Dickinson) would strip the ability of law enforcement and other legal owners to sell guns classified as “unsafe handguns.” AB 169 passed through the Assembly by a vote of 43-27 on May 2 and is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
Assembly Bill 170 (Bradford) would remove the ability of organizations to apply for assault weapon permits. AB 170 passed the Assembly by a vote of 49-24 on April 15 and is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
Assembly Bill 180 (Bonta) would give Oakland the ability to pass gun laws that are more restrictive than state law. AB 180 passed the full Assembly on May 28 by a vote of 46-29 and is has not yet been assigned to a policy committee in the Senate.
Assembly Bill 187 (Bonta) would impose a 10% sales tax on all ammunition sold or used. AB 187 was held under submission in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is dead for the remainder of this legislative session.
Assembly Bill 231 (Ting) would allow limitless liability damages to parents or guardians whose minor child shoots someone. It also would create a new crime of “criminal storage in the third degree.” AB 231 passed the full Assembly on May 28 by a vote of 46-30 and is awaiting a committee assignment in the Senate.
Assembly Bill 232 (Ting) would create tax credits for gun buyback programs of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations. AB 232 is a two-year bill that will not be acted upon in the Assembly until after the Legislature reconvenes in January.
Assembly Bill 500 (Ammiano) would restrict gun ownership when living with someone who is prohibited from possessing firearms. It also would change regulations on gun sales reporting. AB 500 passed the full Assembly on May 29 by a vote of 47-28 and is now awaiting a committee assignment in the Senate.
Assembly Bill 711 (Rendon) would ban lead ammunition for all hunting in California by July 1, 2016. AB 711 passed the full Assembly on May 16 by a vote of 44-21 and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.
Assembly Bill 740 (Alejo) would criminalize buying a firearm when the buyer has reason to believe that not all proper procedures and regulations were followed. AB 740 was held under submission in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is dead for the remainder of this legislative session.
Assembly Bill 760 (Dickenson) would impose a 5 cent tax on every round sold in California. AB 760 is a two-year bill that will not be heard until the Legislature reconvenes next year.
Assembly Bill 761 (Dickinson) would require the Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System to divest from all gun industry companies. The bill passed the Assembly Public Employees and Retirement Committee by a vote of 5-2 on April 24 and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Senate Bill 47 (Yee) would redefine banned assault weapon from “high capacity” to “not having a fixed magazine” and update registration requirements to include newly classified firearms. The bill would also allow for registration fee increases. SB 47 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 23-15 and is now awaiting a committee assignment in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 53 (De León) would make all ammunition sales illegal without a permit. SB 53 would also require all sales to take place in a physical store and for all ammunition to be held behind a counter. SB 53 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 23-15 and is also awaiting a committee assignment in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 108 (Yee) would legally require firearms be stored “safely” using a gun safe or some other mechanism as a condition of firearm ownership. The bill passed the full Senate on May 28 by a vote of 21-17 and is now in the Assembly awaiting a committee assignment.
Senate Bill 293 (DeSaulnier) would require that handguns have an owner-authorized safety mechanism, such as a biometric reader or other technology. SB 293 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 22-14 and is now awaiting a committee assignment in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 299 (DeSaulnier) would require victims of gun theft to report the crime within 48 hours or face fees and/or prison time. SB 299 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 24-15 and has been moved to the Assembly.
Senate Bill 374 (Steinberg, Hancock, Yee) would redefine an assault weapon as any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine or the ability to carry more than 10 rounds. SB 374 also would create a new reporting requirement and a $19 fee per gun for all firearms. The bill was approved by the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 23-15 and is awaiting further action in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 396 (Hancock) would redefine “high capacity magazine” and makes possession illegal. SB 396 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 25-14 and is awaiting a committee assignment in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 475 (Leno) would require the San Mateo and San Francisco Boards of Supervisors to authorize gun shows at the Cow Palace. SB 475 passed the full Senate on May 2 by a vote of 25-13 and is currently in the Assembly awaiting a committee assignment. I voted against the bill when it came before me.
Senate Bill 567 (Jackson) would regulate and require registration of revolving cylinder shotguns. The bill passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 22-15 and is awaiting a committee assignment in the Assembly.
Senate Bill 683 (Block) would require a valid “firearm safety certificate” for firearm ownership. SB 683 was approved by the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 28-11 and has moved to the Assembly.
Senate Bill 755 (Wolk) would add several new misdemeanors which result in a 10-year prohibition of firearm ownership including: threatening a peace officer, hazing, transferring a firearm without going through a licensed dealer, possession of ammunition while prohibited from possessing a firearm, furnishing ammunition to a person not authorized to possess ammunition, carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm. SB 755 passed the full Senate on May 29 by a vote of 25-12 and is now in the Assembly.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 (Wolk) calls on the President and Congress to pass comprehensive federal gun control with universal background checks and place assault weapons and high-capacity magazines under the scope of the National Firearms Act. SJR 1 passed the full Senate on March 7 with a vote of 24-10 and is now awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
Although this represents a list of the most offensive gun-related bills, it may not be conclusive. New language may yet be amended into unrelated bills during the course of the legislative session. Nevertheless, you can be assured that I will be diligent in defending our Second Amendment rights. The high ratings I have been given by Gun Owners of California, National Rifle Association and my selection as California Rifle and Pistol Association’s Legislator of the Year for 2012 are simply a reflection of my commitment to our most fundamental rights.
If you are interested in tracking this or any other legislation, you can access the bill text, status, analyses and vote records from my Senate homepage at www.sen.ca.gov/Nielsen
Again, thank you for contacting my office on this important issue. You are welcome to communicate with me on other issues of particular interest to you.
Senator, Fourth District