California Gun Control: 15 New Laws Signed

California Governor Gavin Newsom shares his reaction to two mass shootings over the weekend in Texas and Ohio during a press conference, Monday, August 5, 2019, at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. On his left is Mark Ghilarducci, the director of Cal OES and on his right is Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California. Image via Sacramento Bee,

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday toughened California’s already strict gun control laws, signing fifteen bills that broadly expand the state’s “red flag” law and limit the purchase of semiautomatic rifles by individuals to one per month.

Newsom, who was elected last year on a campaign that promised strict limits on firearms, signed the bills passed in response to recent mass shootings. Using the tired language of “epidemic” gun violence Newsom would see California reclaim its top spot as the most restrictive state in the nation to own a firearm and give only lip service to respecting the 2nd Amendment.

“This continues California’s leadership in terms of gun safety,” Newsom said while signing the bill.

Absolutely sir, because your other measures have proven so effective in stopping the violence in your cities.

Senate Bill 61, prohibits Californians from buying more than one semiautomatic rifle per month. It also bans the sale of semiautomatic centerfire rifles to people younger than 21, removing a provision of the law that allowed younger people to buy such guns if they have a hunting license. I can just hear all the violent individuals of the west coast giving up and turning their hearts to peace.

“Our efforts to keep high-capacity weapons out of the hands of teenagers, continuing to close loopholes in law, and working with the DOJ and governor’s office this past year on this slate of bills is important and appropriate work that will continue to make our communities safer,” Anthony Portantino, the bill’s author, said Friday.

Was there a recent epidemic of licensed hunters losing their minds we needed to be concerned about? No? Just domestic terrorists who will pay this law just as much heed as all the others they ignore? Right, just checking.

Limiting Personal Sales

Another Portantino measure signed by Newsom reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual (Non-FFL) is able to sell each year and the frequency with which they are able to sell.

So more government intervention in your property rights, that will certainly curb those gang killings. Don’t they already ignore a background check law too?

“It is my hope that these bills can prevent a future horrendous violent situation,” Portantino said.

Yeah… hope is all you have there, bud. I hate to have to remind you that the people who you are trying to prevent doing violence on the general population are undeterred by your efforts. They don’t think like you do. And the hypothetical ‘if it can save just one life’ is a terrible justification for policy decisions. It’s an emotional plea, not a reasoned plan.

Reasoned Opposition Fell on Deaf Ears

Republican legislators opposed the one-gun-a-month bill and criticized the state for failing to remove guns from the hands of thousands of felons and people judged by the court to be severely mentally ill as it is already empowered to do. The state will not utilize its already empowered resources to pursuit felon in possession charges.

“Instead we continue to do more and more legislation that interferes with the law-abiding citizen’s right to own and possess firearms, which is their constitutional right to do,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City).

The reasoning for the lack of prosecution is sound, they don’t consider these people to be an above average threat. Without evidence that a violent crime is imminent a felon possessing a gun is about as much a concern as anyone else. If that felon has a history of violent crimes, especially recent, that’s a different matter and there is far more cause to be worried.

However, a poll found that 68% of Californians say laws covering the sale of guns should be stricter. The poll, released Oct. 2 by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, found that 38% of state residents said they are very concerned about the threat of a mass shooting in their area, up from 28% who had the same fear in a PPIC poll two years ago.

Unfortunately, what this poll likely illustrates is mass ignorance of the topic.

Should there be concern for mass shootings and other high casualty attacks?

Yes! It’s a regular topic here, but we also point out that violence against your person is a low probability high impact event.

But it gets treated in the media like a high probability high impact, because it’s scary. The subtle undertone, deliberately in many cases, is that without legislative action this will happen again. And the inference drawn then is the belief it will happen to you, this is encouraged by way these events are reported on. This inference draws support for any measure that states it can prevent the bad thing from happening.

It uses emotive support in place of reason. Per usual… Good luck my California friends.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.