The Democrat-dominated California Legislature is pushing through a resolution telling the federal government to use California’s gun control laws as a template to pass federal legislation on universal gun control laws.
On the flip side, Kentucky just became the 16th state to authorize “Constitutional carry,” the legal carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit.
California has the most extensive and intrusive gun control laws in the country. The author of AJR 5, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), claims gun violence and gun-related deaths over the past 25 years have dropped in California because of the many strict gun control laws. “Yet those laws have failed to prevent mass murders and acts of terrorism,” Sam Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California, said in an interview. “Asking Congress to use California gun control laws as federal laws would guarantee failures on a nationwide basis.”
Paredes said Jones-Sawyer’s bill is just wrong – factually and statistically. “Everything done in California did not prevent the terror attack in San Bernardino or the Thousand Oaks bar shooting,” Paredes said. In December 2015, San Bernardino County health inspector Syed Farook and his Pakistan-born wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire on a meeting of Farook’s colleagues at a Christmas party, killing 14 and seriously injuring 22. In November 2018, Ian David Long tossed smoke bombs into a Thousand Oaks country dance bar and opened fire, killing 12 people.
Paredes said Democrats’ claim that crime has gone down because of California’s myriad of extensive gun control laws isn’t accurate. “The resolution fails to acknowledge that crime rates began to drop when California instituted strong penalties for violent crimes with longer sentences.”
“A small percentage of the population accounts for most of the gun deaths in the state (excluding suicide),” Paredes said. “It stands to reason that if you incarcerate those who have committed violent crimes and keep them off the streets, that violent crime will go down.”
Jones-Sawyer’s resolution states that data provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fatal Injury Report show that in the early 1990s, California ranked 3rd and 16th in gun homicides and gun deaths per capita, respectively, among all states, but by 2016, improved to 25th in gun homicides per capita with the 8th lowest rate of gun-related deaths nationwide.
However, in recent years, California has implemented laws reducing penalties and sentences even for violent offenders who used a gun to commit their crimes. “Not surprisingly, the same Center for Disease Control report quoted in the resolution states that criminal gun deaths are on the rise in the two years since the Legislature implemented the early-release policies,” Paredes said.
Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) challenged Jones-Sawyer not only on the need for the resolution, but addressed the California Attorney General’s 23,222 backlogged cases in the Armed Prohibited Persons System. “This continues to be a problem, yet it was brought up three to four years ago when Kamala Harris was Attorney General, and funded $24 million to clean up the backlog,” Gallagher said in an interview. “Instead it got bigger, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra is saying, ‘I need more money to give the deputies better pay. He clearly has bigger things to do, like suing Donald Trump.”
Gallagher said the January shooting in Tehama County involved a man who already had a temporary restraining order against him for shooting at someone. But he still had weapons. “Where was the enforcement? This was an enforcement failure,” Gallagher added.
AJR 5 was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee, and the full Assembly Monday. “This resolution is the fundamental duty of every elected official,” Jones-Sawyer said during the Assembly voting session. “We can debate this issue on the floor and take action on it. This is a growing problem in this nation and other nations – it’s a curse and a problem we have in our communities.”
AJR passed the Assembly 52-20 along party lines, with four Democrats abstaining.