California Scheming

posted on March 21, 2020

Will Gun Control Spread? All it takes for gun-control policies to stay or spread from places like California is an uneducated public. The mainstream media specializes in keeping its readers ignorant of the real facts about guns.

As if we needed another reminder how important this next presidential election is, Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat presidential candidate and the founder and major funder of gun-control groups, recently said, “I think that California can serve as a great example for the rest of this country. You have led the way on climate change, on fighting gun violence and on criminal justice. … California is part of this country that is something the rest of the country looks up to.

That last part of Bloomberg’s quote was certainly true of America in the mid-20th century, but today the old saying, “As California goes, so goes the nation,” is a warning, not an optimistic call to progress.

Today, California’s policies have made Californians one of the state’s top exports, despite the wonderful weather. Skyrocketing housing costs and high taxes are big factors behind this exodus, but many of the California residents who are opting to seek happiness elsewhere are also citing the state’s stupefying restrictions on their Second Amendment rights as a reason for their relocation to freer America.

About 691,000 people left California to live in other states in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates; meanwhile, about 501,000 people came to California from other states. This amounts to a net loss of about 190,000 residents in just 2018.

High Bridge Arms store
High Bridge Arms on its final day of business (Oct. 31, 2015) as San Francisco’s last gun store. The store opened in 1952.

The thing is, residents of other states have noticed that many of the Californians fleeing high housing costs, taxes and more have been indoctrinated in the false idea that the Second Amendment isn’t a constitutionally protected right, but rather is just a legal privilege the government can regulate away to nothing if it so chooses. These new voters then begin voting for policies that, for example, punish law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals.

What Guns Can Be Sold
Dealers in California may only sell a new handgun if it is listed in the state’s Department of Justice roster of handguns certified for sale. Listed handguns must include certain mechanical features and pass a set of laboratory tests. Law-enforcement officers are exempt from this requirement. The state also has an exhaustive and confusing list of what is banned as an “assault weapon.”

Recently, California, which is led by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), added 15 new laws to the very long list of gun-control laws that already reduce and overprice citizens’ firearms freedoms. From red-flag laws to bans on firearm types to strict controls on ammunition, many of the state’s political leaders are in the habit of trying every anti-gun idea they, or anyone else, can dream up.

The state recently banned law-abiding gun owners from purchasing more than one semi-automatic rifle per month. This law also prevents residents under 21 years of age from purchasing a semi-automatic rifle. Earlier provisions had permitted hunters under 21 to purchase that type of firearm if they had a hunting license.

With red-flag-law changes, California expanded the category of who can report an individual to the authorities to have that person’s guns taken away. It now goes beyond family members and law enforcement and includes teachers, school staff, employers and co-workers. All anyone has to do is petition the court to take away someone else’s firearms. Firearms taken under this provision may be held for a period of time without possible release to the owner. Furthermore, when red flags are used, warrants can also be issued. If the firearm owner fails to turn over any guns—the state maintains a list of legal gun owners and the guns they own—the police can force their way in and seize the firearms.

The new period of imposition on firearm owners caught in this type of red-flag confiscation net just expanded from one year to five years. Yes, for half a decade a person can be banned from owning or possessing a firearm simply because someone claimed they did or said something.

That slew of gun-grabbing and ownership-prevention laws signed in October 2019 by Gov. Newsom also allows county sheriffs to charge “an amount equal to the actual costs for processing the application” for a concealed-carry permit, so now Californians can be legally priced out of obtaining such permits. California is also a “may-issue” state, so local licensing authorities can simply deny people their constitutional rights for any reason whatsoever or for no reason at all.

As these laws take effect, even buying a gun part, such as a standard rifle barrel, or common replacement parts for firearms, like triggers, will require using an FFL dealer for the transaction, completing a background check and paying associated fees.

California already has a requirement for background checks to buy ammunition, but now the new law also prevents California residents from buying ammunition in another state and bringing it into California.

California’s May-Issue Hypocrisy
Under California law, a sheriff of a county may issue a concealed-carry handgun license to an applicant if the applicant is of  “good moral character”; if a “good cause” exists for issuance of the license; if the applicant is a resident of the county or a city within the county; and if the applicant has completed a course of training as described in Section 26165 of the state’s code.

State statute does not further define “good moral character” or “good cause.” This gives local sheriff’s departments significant discretion when determining who gets to exercise their rights. 

It has been very difficult for a law-abiding citizens to get a permit in Los Angeles County. In 2017, a study found that  Los Angeles County had issued just 197 licenses to its 10.2 million residents. Almost all of these permits were given to law-enforcement-associated professionals, judges and other public officials. As in New York City, the politically connected get permits, while average citizens are barred from exercising their fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

“One in five Californians have been denied buying ammunition, usually for errors and omissions in the database used in the state’s new background check program, which took effect July 1,” reported The Sacramento Bee. In fact, in just the first four months the system was in effect, it denied an estimated 62,000 purchase attempts by people who are not prohibited from buying ammunition. This occurred because the state rushed through the legislation without even attempting to raise public awareness or working with law-abiding gun owners; as a result, many are being denied simply because they just aren’t in the state’s flawed database.

Small wonder why so many California residents are crossing the state line and never going back.

Why should you continue reading if you live in another state? Because anti-gun state legislators often watch and then try to copy new gun-control laws. This is especially true up Interstate 5 into Oregon and Washington. Those restrictive laws and bans travel fast up the I-5 corridor and enter the offices of copycat governors, like Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D).

Oregon followed California in requiring that all private individual-to-individual firearms sales take place through the watchful eyes and paperwork of a licensed firearms dealer. California restricted sales of firearms to those aged 18 to 21, and Oregon followed suit.

California also keeps records of all firearms sales, has a ban on rifles chambered in .50 BMG and, to be “California legal,” handguns must be on an approved list. The state mandates a 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases and has an exhaustive and complicated list to explain what constitutes a banned “assault weapon.” 

California’s Gun Laws Have Long Been Burdensome
One of California’s earliest gun-control bills, passed in 1923, actually barred gun dealers from advertising the sale of handguns on their premises. This law was declared unconstitutional in 2018, as it’s a First Amendment infringement.

Firearms buyers must pass tests (these can vary depending on where you reside) and meet certain requirements to obtain a “Firearms Safety Certificate.” One of the many laws restricting travel with a firearm requires that if a pistol is carried in a vehicle, it must be contained in a fully enclosed and locked container, and that container must be placed in locations other than a console, glove box or the passenger area of the vehicle—this requirement must be met by visitors passing through the state. Storage laws are also in effect in California and the state requires that firearms must also be kept locked up in areas where children may be present. Oregon is in copying mode on this requirement.

California also seems to have made it a goal to run all firearms dealers and manufacturers out of the state. It was major firearms industry news when Weatherby fled California for Wyoming.

While some manufacturers have built, and offer for sale, special California-compliant firearms, other firearms and accessory manufacturers refuse to do any business in California.

So how do California laws and restrictions migrate and infiltrate other states? As mentioned, many states watch California and copy its laws. State governors gather together on a yearly basis to discuss their state’s issues—and what they consider to be successes.

Next, California has a mega propaganda machine called Hollywood. Many of the movies and TV shows made in Hollywood spread California’s view of guns nationwide. Just spend a few minutes watching the Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and other such events, and you’ll likely hear someone pushing anti-Second Amendment talking points.

So watch out, if one of the current Democrats now seeking the presidency gets to move into the White House, they’ll certainly try to spread California’s gun laws nationwide. They would also nominate judges, possibly including one or more U.S. Supreme Court justices, who don’t believe the Second Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.

Ronald Reagan, who both served as a governor of California and a U.S. president, once pointed out that the beauty of the American system of federalism is that in this country “you can vote with your feet.” That is certainly something many Californians are deciding to do. The open question, however, is: Will they bring the policies they are fleeing with them?


18th century British soldiers and Americans
18th century British soldiers and Americans

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