Home>Articles>Democrats Planning to Kill Bill to Restore Firearm Sentencing Enhancements

Assemblyman Bill Essayli. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Democrats Planning to Kill Bill to Restore Firearm Sentencing Enhancements

AB 328 would get guns out of the hands of criminals and keep those who misuse firearms behind bars

By Katy Grimes, March 4, 2023 2:17 pm

A bill was introduced in January to restore the mandatory 10-20-Life firearms enhancements law, ensuring that anyone who brandishes, discharges, or inflicts great bodily injury with a firearm during the commission of a specified violent felony will be held accountable.

This sounds reasonable as well as justifiable.

However, the Globe has learned that AB 328 by Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Corona) will likely be killed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee next week by gun control Democrats, in a fit of hyper-partisanship, despite that the purpose of this bill is to get guns out of the hands of criminals, and to keep those who misuse firearms behind bars. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) heads up public safety.

Rise in violent gun crime is unacceptable and we need serious consequences for those who use guns to hurt others,” Essayli said on Twitter Friday. “I introduced #AB328 which requires mandatory prison time for anyone who uses a gun during a violent crime. The @ACLU_CalAction is OPPOSED to my sensible gun law.”

“They argue that locking up the most dangerous criminals has no public safety benefit and is inherently racist” Essayli said. “That’s ridiculous. Crime rates plummet when we remove the most violent criminals from society. If you wanna talk about racism, let’s talk about the victims.”

“The Gun Control lobby once again epically fails on public safety when they don’t support common sense firearms crime control bills such as AB328,” Rick Travis, Director of Government Affairs for the California Rifle & Pistol Association told the Globe. “They show their true intent when they are more concerned with how criminals feel while they seek to disarm law abiding citizens.”

 A 2021 advisory committee to Gov. Newsom recommended California allow inmates to request lighter sentences after serving at least 15 years, largely because the committee claimed 99% of those given a gang enhancement in Los Angeles County are people of color, as part of Newsom’s criminal justice reforms.

AB 328 counteracts that sentiment. And as Essayli said, “The majority of violent crime victims are minorities. For example, Black Americans make up 14% of the population, but 32% of all violent crime victims and 54.4% of homicide victims. These victims are the true disenfranchised members of society, not the criminals murdering them.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed laws to reduce sentence enhancements for the purpose of reducing prison sentences because of “extreme racial disparities.” But as Essayli notes, Newsom and Democrats are only focused on the criminals committing the crimes and their sentencing, and not on the victims.

The fact sheet for AB 328 explains in detail:

Existing law provides for the “10-20-life” law relating to the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony listed in Penal Code Section 12022.53. Under that law, any person who personally used the firearm may receive a separate and consecutive enhancement of 10 years. Additionally, any person who intentionally and personally discharges a firearm may receive a separate and consecutive enhancement of 20 years.

Finally, any person who discharged a firearm at an inhabited dwelling or aircraft (Penal Code § 246), or discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle (Penal Code § 12034(c) or (d)) who intentionally and personally discharges a firearm that proximately causes great bodily injury on a person, other than an accomplice, may receive an additional and consecutive enhancement of 25 years to life. These enhancements apply only if the defendant personally committed the felony and personally “used,” discharged, or inflicted great bodily injury with the firearm. Therefore, accomplice (“principal”) liability is excluded, with one exception. If a violation of the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act is pled and proved, accomplice liability is permitted.

These penalties apply to firearms offenses committed during the commission of the following felonies: Murder, Mayhem and aggravated mayhem, Kidnapping (including, kidnapping of a minor, and kidnapping with the intent to commit a sex crime, kidnapping during the course of a carjacking and kidnapping for ransom or extortion, Robbery, Carjacking, Assault with intent to commit a specified felony (mayhem or sex crimes), Assault with a firearm on a peace officer or firefighter, Rape and spousal rape, Rape or penetration by foreign object in concert with another, Sodomy, Lewd acts on a child, Forcible oral copulation, Forcible penetration by foreign object, Assault by a life prisoner, Assault by a prisoner with a deadly weapon,  Holding a hostage by a prisoner, Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life; Any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision, other than an assault.

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10 thoughts on “Democrats Planning to Kill Bill to Restore Firearm Sentencing Enhancements

  1. This is INFURIATING. And makes no sense! But we have become used to seeing this from the “gun control”-pushing Dems whose policy is inexplicably to go soft on the gun-toting criminals who terrorize us —- crying RACISM! —- at the same time they want to take firearms away from the law-abiding public.

    Appreciate so much Asm Bill Essayli’s emphasis on VICTIMS of violent crime. He rightly points out that Dem politicians and others who ‘yell racist’ in response to a bill that would restore mandatory prison time for the criminal who uses a gun in the commission of a violent crime are ignoring that victims of such crimes are most often minorities. So who is the racist? (Hint: The California Democrat politician and the ACLU.)

    Asm Bill Essayli: “They argue that locking up the most dangerous criminals has no public safety benefit and is inherently racist” Essayli said. “That’s ridiculous. Crime rates plummet when we remove the most violent criminals from society. If you wanna talk about racism, let’s talk about the victims.”

    1. Crazy, isn’t it Showandtell. They don’t want anyone to own guns but they also don’t really want to punish anyone who commits a crime using a gun. As always, I place the ultimate blame on the moron California voters.

      1. You’re probably right, Fed Up, however I’m always wondering these days what Californians would do if the majority were convinced without a doubt that (let’s say) at least 90% of these twerps who routinely turn up on our complaint lists were not legitimately elected but were the result of many years of election cheating and rigging. It pretty obvious that the whole process is funky and stinky in the extreme, even if the cheating is nearly impossible to prove, especially with the current players in place (by design), so it is not at all out of the question.
        Just think, the California Parallel Universe where election rigging did not occur, or rarely occurred, has no Gov Gruesome, no super-majority Dem/Marxist legislature, none of the ruinous state office holders such as AG Rob Bonta (and former AG Kamala Harris), no Secty of State Shirley Weber, no left-wing State Controller Malia Cohen, no ethics-challenged left-wing State Supt of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, etc. No destructive left-wing city mayors and city councils, no ruinous leftist County Boards of Supervisors, and no super-hard-left County D.A.s who are miles worse than public defenders. And the list goes on..

  2. Demonrats create gun crime and want it to flourish so that they can then call a state of emergency to cancel the Constitution. They cannot roll out mass incarceration and death camps as long as people can defend themselves.

    Fortunately most everyone knows their plan and will NEVER give up their means to self defense.

  3. This will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee some time tomorrow, Tues., March 7.
    Just tried to contact the Chair of the committee, Asm Reggie Jones-Sawyer, but was once again frustrated by the gatekeeping system in the legislature that erects barriers to citizens who want to make their voices heard on these matters in a straightforward way. In other words, because I have the wrong zip code and don’t have time this morning to make a career out of navigating the labyrinth to submit a “position letter” I am all-but-barred from weighing in even though his committee will be hearing an important bill tomorrow that will affect ALL Californians. Maybe others will have more patience and/or have better luck with it:

    Public Safety Committee will hear Asm Essayli’s AB 328 on Tues., 3/7/23

    Committee Members:
    Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (Chair) Dem – 57
    (916) 319-2057

    Juan Alanis (Vice Chair) Rep – 22
    (916) 319-2022

    Mia Bonta Dem -18
    (916) 319-2018

    Isaac Bryan Dem – 55
    (916) 319-2055

    Tom Lackey Rep – 34
    (916) 319-2034

    Liz Ortega Dem – 20
    (916) 319-2020

    Miguel Santiago Dem – 54
    (916) 319-2054

    Rick Chavez Zbur Dem – 51
    (916) 319-2051

  4. Once again Democrats prove that they don’t actually care about gun control but just controlling law abiding citizens while allowing the criminals to roam free and victimize us all for the sake of holding onto political power. It’s despicable. .

  5. What difference does it make? It can be one more way to jail gun owners for self- defense. A warning shot is an illegal discharge of a weapon. Up the river you can go. Are you found 1% at fault for shooting a criminal? Up the river you can go. Criminals don’t care because the enhancement is erased by the parole board.
    Victims in California are supposed to submit to murder.

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