It was a mixed bag for gun rights in California yesterday. A pair of gun control bills had been sitting on Governor Moonbeam’s desk with the state’s firearms owners bracing for yet another hit. What they got was a tougher row to hoe on concealed carry while The Gov actually vetoed an expansion of the state’s gun violence restraining order regime.
Brown signed a bill that requires concealed carries to complete eight hours of training plus a “live fire shooting exercise” before getting state permission to keep and bear arms in a concealed fashion. That’s assuming, of course, you live in a California jurisdiction where the local chief law enforcement officer will sign off on your application.
Wendy Wheatcroft, leader of the California chapter of Moms Demand Action, said the legislation would “solidify California’s status as a leader in gun safety. This bill can prevent tragedy before it strikes by ensuring concealed weapons holders demonstrate that they can operate a firearm safely.”
Of course, that wasn’t what the bill was about at all. AB2103 was all about its sponsor, Todd Gloria, being able to demonstrate that he’s doing something about “gun violence” while putting up more hurdles to Californians obtaining a permission slip to carry a gun from the state.
On the positive side of the ledger, Governor Brown vetoed AB2888, a measure that would have greatly expanded the number of people who could initiate a gun confiscation.
AB2888 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would have expanded the list of people who can ask a court for a gun violence restraining order under a 2016 law, a little-known process under which a judge can bar a person from possessing a gun for as long as a year.
The law can now be used only by immediate family members, roommates and law enforcement. Under Ting’s bill, teachers, principals, co-workers and employers would have been able to ask for a gun restraining order for people they feared were a threat to themselves or others.
Color us pleasantly surprised. This sounds like exactly the kind of law a life-long statist and opponent of civilian gun ownership like Jerry Brown would be all over. But against all odds, he decided that giving the power to dime on a gun owner and have the police grab his guns was a bridge too far.
“All of the persons named in this bill can seek a gun violence restraining order today under existing law by simply working through law enforcement or the immediate family of the concerning individual,” Brown said in his veto message. “I think law enforcement professionals and those closest to a family member are best situated to make these especially consequential decisions.”
In short, as is frequently the case, California gun owners are left consoling themselves with the thought that considering the possibilities, it could have been much worse. But it probably won’t take them long to realize that given the ever-more-hoplophobic bent of a supermajority of the state legislature and the virtual certainty of Governor Newsom being sworn in as Brown’s replacement, things are probably only going to deteriorate more.