Jerry Brown, not noted for being a friend of gun owners, is expected to sign a bill that would make it illegal for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to buy a long gun in California. The Legislature sent it to him last week after the Senate voted 26-12 in favor of the change. The Assembly had approved it earlier by a 47-30 vote.
Sen. Anthony Portantino introduced the measure, citing the need to do something in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
We can only guess that Portantino has never heard of the black market, straw purchasers or theft as means for criminals to get a rifle, regardless of their age. It’s not like someone who is intent on committing a crime would let a little old thing like an age restriction stop him.
But, like most of the knee-jerk reactions we see after a tragedy, this is another attempt to control behavior that curtails the rights of law-abiding citizens, when a simpler and more effective response might just be to enforce existing laws.
The bill allows exemptions for police officers, those serving in the military and anyone who has a valid hunting license.