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Senate Bill 914 Targets Hunting Licenses

Law abiding gun owners expect a ‘coordination nightmare’ from state agencies

By Lloyd Billingsley, February 5, 2020 2:42 pm

None of the gun laws will have any effect on violent criminals, who disregard the law and often use stolen weapons and ammunition.


As the Associated Press reports, California Sen. Anthony Portantino, La Cañada Flintridge Democrat, has authored a bill requiring the Department of Justice to validate hunting licenses. The Senator’s SB 914 would require “both the retailer and the state Department of Justice to check the validity during the 10-day waiting period after gun buyers purchase the weapon and before they can pick it up.”

Portantino contends that John T. Earnest, suspect in last’s April’s shooting at the Chabad in Poway, near San Diego, purchased a gun under a hunting license that was not valid until about two months after the shooting. In a statement, Portantino said that “lessons learned can be used proactively for a better and safer place for our Californians to worship and for families to raise their children in safety.”

The proposed law drew pushback from Sam Paredes of Gun Owners of California. He told the Sacramento Bee, “You’re now asking the DOJ, which has a history of bungling databases and juggling databases that do not speak to each other, to hire personnel that can make everything work together.” All told, Paredes envisioned a “coordination nightmare,” similar to what is happening with ammunition purchases.

Those purchases now require a background check and as the California Globe noted last December, the measure has blocked 62,000 ammunition purchases by law-abiding gun owners. Those denied included a deputy sheriff purchasing shotgun shells to hunt ducks.

State officials blamed the denials on discrepancies in state databases and predicted they would clear up in due time. On the other hand, Attorney Ari Freilich of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence told reporters the system is already working “as intended.”

Sen. Portantino has written state laws that prohibit the purchase of more than one semi-automatic firearm in a month and ban people from openly carrying handguns and rifles. Sen. Portantino also wrote legislation barring those under 21 to buy semi-automatic rifles unless they have a valid hunting license.

None of the gun laws will have any effect on violent criminals, who disregard the law and often use stolen weapons and ammunition. If law-abiding Californians suspected that Senator Portantino’s SB 914 deploys bureaucratic inefficiency to block legitimate gun purchases it would be hard to blame them.

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