More Gun Control, Cali Style
As if last year’s Gunmageddon laws and Prop 63 weren’t enough for California, they are back at it this year proposing even more draconian gun control measures which do nothing to fight crime or increase public safety, only punish the law abiding. As evidence, I give you Senator Anthony Portantino’s SB 497 changing the limit of one handgun a month to one firearm a month.
The Senator’s rational is this will close a so-called “loophole” by including long guns in a monthly buying limit. He argues there is no reason why someone would need to buy more than one long gun each month. The direct quote: “This is not the Wild West,” he said. “California’s in the 21st century, and you shouldn’t be able to walk into a gun store and come out with an arsenal.”
Here is my very personal reason why I oppose this.
My wife is the director for our county’s Women on Target program. For those of you who don’t know about NRA’s Women on Target, it is a program dedicated to providing women with a safe, friendly and fun introduction to recreational shooting. The program here is a small one; this will be its third year with three to four events per year. It is a 100% volunteer, bootstrapped effort. With materials from the Women of the NRA and together with a training company that offers its resources, our local range providing the facility and a local restaurant providing lunch for the participants and the many volunteers — oh yes, the wonderful volunteers! Men and women from the community who provide their time, expertise and kindness to help local women of all ages learn about firearms and safety.
Previously the program was able to borrow the firearms needed to run the clinics from friends and families. Now California says the only way you can loan a firearm to anyone other than a small list of immediate family members is for the loaner and loanee to go to the local gun shop, pay $35, the state mandated fee for a party-to-party transfer, and wait ten days just like a normal firearm purchase. Getting it back to the original loaner is $35 and ten more days.
Since borrowing under these circumstances is cost prohibitive and time consuming, and having a hodgepodge of whatever the instructors and volunteers can bring isn’t effective for education, it means acquiring them. The good news in this situation is a very generous grant pending from the Northern California Friends of the NRA. However since firearms in California must be registered to an individual, not a company, trust or non-profit, the plan for the program is for firearms to be registered to my wife. That way if she is ill, traveling or otherwise unable to attend a clinic, as one of the volunteers I can still ‘borrow’ them for the event using the family loaning exception.
On the list of pending purchases are 13 firearms, eight of them handguns. Under the current one handgun a month law, even splitting registration between the two of us will take four months, eight months if they are all in her name. Under the proposed one firearm a month law, seven months split, 13 months if they all are registered to her.
This Women On Target program isn’t the only one impacted. Even long running training and educational programs that have enough firearms still need to be sure the registered owner is with the firearms during training to not run afoul of the new loaning laws. Acquiring replacements or additional firearms puts them in the same position of having to wait months to years to replace or expand inventory.
It is already illegal to buy a firearm for someone else. It is already illegal to give someone a firearm without doing a legal transfer. It is already illegal to use a firearm in the commission of a crime, to say nothing about committing the crime in the first place and the host of other crimes that come along with it. How is making legal purchases illegal, going to make anyone safer?
If California spent their time and money enforcing the laws already in place, punishing those who break those laws and keeping them incarcerated instead of letting them out early to prey on the public, instead of creating new laws targeting law abiding citizens, the crime rate would actually go down.
What California is doing is obvious and inevitable. Each incremental, “common sense” gun control law that further restricts only the activity of law abiding citizens is another step towards the eventual goal of no firearms in private hands in California.
So congratulations California! You’ve made it more difficult to teach women in our county about safety and responsible firearms usage, as well as categorizing my wife’s volunteer educational activity as amassing an “arsenal”.
Welcome to Gun Control, Cali Style.
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