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Guns in the News: The Golden But Dangerous State


By population, California is about 12 percent of the U.S. By total area, it is barely 4 percent. It is the center of the U.S. entertainment industry and thus, to borrow from Austria’s 19th century diplomat Klemens von Metternich, when California sneezes, America gets a cold. What happens in the Golden State has repercussions across the continent.

Recently, the California Assembly passed anti-gun Assembly Bills 2362 and 2847, which will now move to the Senate for further consideration and, most likely, adoption. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will certainly sign them into law.

Albert Y. Muratsuchi (D; Los Angeles) is sponsoring AB 2362. His bill authorizes the California Department of Justice to levy monetary fines of (up to) $1,000 on licensed firearms dealers for the most minor technical violations when advertising or selling merchandise.

According to, “Anyone who has ever been a participant in a CA-DOJ audit of an FFL knows how easily this will be weaponized, especially against smaller shops. The result will be added costs, even more harassment by the CA-DOJ, and another step toward pushing gun shops out of business.” And just like that, there goes your Second Amendment…

Making a Mark

David Chiu (D; San Francisco), a graduate of Harvard Law, is sponsoring AB 2847 to revise the criteria for handguns to be certified for sale by requiring a micro-stamp in one place on the interior of the handgun. The current law, originally passed in 2007 and litigated in and out of courtrooms since, requires two imprinting locations: one to transfer from the firing pin to the primer case and a second to transfer from the breech to the cartridge case.

Chiu’s bill also requires the removal of three currently certified handguns from the roster for each new handgun added. So if Kimber, for example, develops a new and exciting cartridge, don’t expect it to be available in California until three formerly approved guns are outlawed. This is called on-roster and off-roster. (Oddly, the current law says that police officers can buy guns that aren’t on that roster. Cops can also sell off-roster weapons to civilians as long as “they aren’t trying to turn a profit.”)

But Wait; There’s More

Additional anti-gun and anti-hunting bills are already moving through the California Legislature. Sponsored by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D; Los Angeles), Senate Bill 914 modifies earlier legislation. Formerly, a person could purchase a long gun if he or she had a firearms safety certificate or a hunting license. Portantino’s bill would require the Department of Justice to confirm the validity of the hunting license as part of the background check. And of course, there are financial penalties.

And then there’s Sen. Henry Stern (D; Los Angeles). Henry’s Senate Bill 1175 prohibits the possession of certain African big game species. The true goal of the bill, notes, is to ensure that a lawful U.S. hunter is not allowed to bring home a hunting trophy — even though the animal was legally taken and the hunter has the approval of the U.S. government.

Well, California is sneezing. Do you feel a cold coming on?

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