Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed six new laws that will restrict gun rights in California. To what extent these laws will reduce crime, or even mass shootings, remains to be seen.
The most notable law is SB 1100, which raises the legal age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and goes into effect on Jan. 1. The law makes exceptions for police, military, and certain hunters. State law already prohibits those under 21 from purchasing handguns.
This law is likely to face lawsuits from civil rights organizations; the National Rifle Association is currently suing Florida to try to overturn a similar law in the Sunshine State.
Another new law, AB 2013, requires concealed carry holders to receive more training than previously required in order to receive their permits, raising the minimum to eight hours. Several studies have suggested that concealed carry holders account for a small percentage of gun-related crime; far more crime is committed by those who illegally obtain guns.
Other newly signed laws include:
- AB-3129, which bans certain domestic violence offenders from owning guns for life
- AB-2222, which requires law enforcement agencies to enter information on missing/stolen firearms into an automated Department of Justice system within seven days of receiving the information
- AB-1968, which will temporarily ban gun ownership to individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution at least twice within one year for risk of harming themselves or others, and goes into effect in 2020
But the law likely to cause the most debate is AB 2526. This new law makes it even easier for police to temporarily seize a citizen’s legally-obtained guns. Currently, the police have to make a written request, but this new law grants exceptions to the police, who may make the request verbally. Gun rights advocates are correct to fear that anti-gun politicians or police officers could easily abuse this law and use it to seize legally-obtained firearms.
If the laws are challenged in court, they will face a federal court system that has been filled with pro-Second Amendment judges.