The New Gun Legislation In Northern California Is Causing Massive Confusion
Last year, the voters and legislature in northern California passed an unbelievable amount of legislation to ensure private gun ownership became extremely expensive, and incredibly difficult to attain. These regulations included restricting ammunition sales and magazine capacity. The premise for the new legislation was to decrease the unacceptable number of incidents involving arrests for illegal gun use, and the staggering amount of California bail bonds issued for these offenses.
As the Governor, Jerry Brown outright rejected many of the anti-gun bills he received at his desk. The political crusade began to turn into a battle between the politicians leading the state of California. Tem Kevin, the President of the Senate, and Gavin Newsom, the Lt. Governor, exchanged harsh words as they both attempted to take control of the politics surrounding the anti-gun movement. As the leading politicians for the state, the battle quickly encompassed everything from the laws to control guns, to the number of inmates in northern California jails, to the best possible restrictions to place on gun ownership and usage.
The speculation is since Newsome had already decided to run for Governor, and de Leon wanted to continue his ascent on the political ladder, triggering the harsh words and actions between them. Despite the provocation or the reasons, northern California now has the tightest restrictions regarding using and purchasing guns anywhere in the nation. California’s status regarding gun control has been greatly increased, although it is not yet clear if the new legislation is going to make the current criminal situation better or worse.
According to a ballot sponsored by Newsome, conducted with the opinions of the voters and politicians taken into account, the changes have not had any effect. The number of guns used to commit crimes, and the number of criminals placed in jail for these offenses, has not decreased. In addition, the number of California bail bonds for gun-related crimes has remained about the same. Another issue is when the original legislation was still pending, the people of northern California were encouraged to go out and purchase even more firearms. The amount of ammunition purchased also increased significantly prior to the new legislation having the time to go into effect.
Every single year, the residents of California have been able to legally increase the number of firearms they possess by 1.5 million. According to data obtained from the state Department of Justice and the FBI, these personal arsenals are increasing at an alarming rate. Northern California has a lot of gun shows, and anyone attending will be unable to miss the large number of people leaving with cases upon cases of ammunition. This is an attempt to effectively counter the new ammo rules being anticipated by the gun owners throughout northern California. This appears to be in direct opposition to the intent of the new legislation to reduce the violence perpetrated via the use of guns.
The reason the new laws were passed was to help stop anyone with a penchant for using guns from causing any injuries. The new legislation was supposed to make it harder to obtain guns and ammunition, yet it has become obvious just how many guns were purchased along with large stores of ammunition prior to the legislation actually going into effect. The entire reasoning behind the new gun laws was the claim that they are capable of helping eliminate violence, but they are already falling short of this goal. This is because the laws are only having an effect on the people who purchase guns through legal means. The individuals who procure guns for violent or criminal actions are not being affected by the legislation. The very nature of a gang member is not to purchase their guns legally. Since they do not want any trace of ownership or paperwork to lead to them, they purchase their ammunition and firearms surreptitiously. This type of action is not affected by the new laws at all.
Since the legislators in northern California passed so many new laws regarding guns last year, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to find any more restrictions to put in place this year. The only new laws Brown signed regarding guns were very minor, and are not really expected to make a difference. This has left many people puzzled as to what he had hoped to accomplish with the new legislation.
Kevin McCarty is a Democratic Assemblyman from Sacramento. His Assembly Bill 424 has taken the power away from the school authorities in California to give anyone permission to carry a firearm anywhere on the school grounds legally. This bill was specifically aimed at the very small number of teachers legally able to carry a firearm. These teachers have received the necessary training, and the schools gave them the right to carry a gun in case there was another horrific shooting incident. The teachers were carrying guns because they wanted to be able to protect their students. Due to the new law, any potential shooter will be fully aware that the school grounds does not have any available resistance. This has caused worry among the schools and their staff members.
In addition to the questionable logic of Assembly Bill 424, Brown has signed yet another bill. This one is from Democratic Senator Steven Bradford from Gardenia, California. Senate Bill 620 has repealed one of the longest standing sections of the Penal Code. The code made additional years in jail mandatory for any individuals committing a crime with the use of a gun. The term served by the perpetrator of the crime is now completely in the hands of the judge who hears the case.
The new laws have caused confusion, because while the new legislation (and Brown) have made it nearly impossible for the teachers to successfully protect the children from anyone using a gun, it has also reduced the possible penalties for the offenders. Many people in northern California do not understand the reasons these laws were passed, and there is a concern for the safety of the children.