With less than three days left in the Sacramento legislature before fall recess, Senator Anthony Portantino (D-SD25) has passed his “triple play” of gun bills and will likely send them on their way to the governors desk. Consisting of three major gun reform proposals, each item will significantly affect who can purchase which firearms.
SB 746 will “authorize a person who has an outstanding warrant for a felony or misdemeanor, as described in the link, to transfer his or her firearms or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer for the duration of the prohibition, as specified. The bill would make the procedure for a court or law enforcement agency to return a seized firearm applicable to ammunition.”
SB1100 will require an applicant to be at least 21 years of age for any firearm, except that applications would be granted for an applicant who is at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age for a firearm that is not a handgun if the application is made before February 1, 2019.” California law already prohibits persons under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun, however existing law allows an applicant to be at least 18 years of age for a firearm that is not a handgun.
SB1177 will put a prohibition on gun purchasers from buying more than one “long gun” in a 30-day period. Long guns refer to a category of firearms that are generally designed to be held by both hands and braced against the shoulder, in contrast to a handgun, which can be fired being held with a single hand. There was already a 30-day waiting period in place for people looking to buy more than one handgun, however previous to this bill there was no restrictions on long guns.
Although the state law already applies to handguns bills, opposition to the new laws included Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-AD27), who spoke directly after Portantino’s SB 1100 presentation on the Assembly floor. He said that criminals are always going to find a way to get guns and that “this expansion is only making it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families and their property.”
This is not the first time the idea of raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 has been floated. Back in May of 2018 in a response to the Parkland Florida school shooting, Kroger, Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods all raised their minimum age of purchasing a firearm to 21.
“Dick’s suspended sales of assault-style rifles from its stores in 2012 after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the company soon after began selling the type of AR-15 semiautomatic rifle that was used in the shooting at a new hunting and fishing chain called Field & Stream. The new policies on assault-style weapons will primarily impact the roughly 30 Field & Stream stores across the US, as traditional Dick’s locations did not bring the firearms back into stores. This time the decision to stop selling assault-style weapons will be permanent.” (Via Businessinsider.com)
Although all three bills must be signed by the governor to officially become law, given Jerry Brown’s consistent history of passing other gun bills, surely they will be signed soon. He has signed numerous anti-gun pieces of legislation including subjecting people who buy ammunition to a background check, banning possession of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds, limiting Californians to the purchase of one rifle or shotgun per month and restricting the loaning of guns without background checks to close family members.
The Governor has 30 days to act upon all bills after the end of the session, or the legislation becomes law without being signed.