California gun bills advance, would raise buyer’s age to 21 database yml

In a year when mass school shootings in Florida and Texas grabbed headlines and prompted student protests, a raft of proposed new gun regulations is finding little resistance from lawmakers in California, already home to some of the nation’s most extensive gun laws.

Legislators on Friday advanced many of the bills introduced in the Senate and Assembly. If approved by both houses and signed by the governor, they would raise the age for buying rifles and make it easier for authorities to confiscate guns from people believed to be dangerous.

Among the bills the Brady Campaign considers a priority are AB 3 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and SB 1100 by Senator Anthony Portantino. Both would raise the legal age to purchase all firearms to 21, the same as for handguns in California.

Portantino’s bill also would limit purchases of all guns, not just handguns, to one every 30 days. Critics argued that someone who at 18 is entrusted to drive a car, enlist in the military and vote shouldn’t be deprived of gun rights.

The bills were inspired by February’s Parkland, Fla., high school shooting in which a 19-year-old legally bought a military-style rifle and used it to kill 17 people at the school that had expelled him. Last month, a 17-year-old student armed with his father’s revolver and shotgun killed 10 people at his Santa Fe, Texas high school. Flowers and crosses line a fence near the school on a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 16, 2018.(AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISERHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images) Rhoma Wiser/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Another Brady Campaign priority that advanced is SB 1200 by Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. It would strengthen her 2014 Gun Violence Restraining Order legislation, which allows family members to seek a court order to disarm a relative they fear is dangerous. The bill would include gun parts and components as items to be surrendered. The National Shooting Sports Foundation argued the bill is overly broad in banning parts that aren’t dangerous.

Late Thursday, the Assembly approved AB 2382 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, that would close the “ghost gun loophole” by regulating parts and components that people barred from having a gun could use to assemble one. Gun Owners of California argued the regulation is overly broad and impractical.

Last year, a man barred by a restraining order from having guns used home-built military style rifles in a rampage that killed five in Tehama County. FBI agents are seen behind yellow crime scene tape outside Rancho Tehama Elementary School after a shooting in the morning on November 14, 2017, in Rancho Tehama, CaliforniaAFP PHOTO / Elijah NouvelageELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images

Another priority bill for gun-control advocates, AB 2222 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, passed in the Assembly with bipartisan support Thursday. It would require law enforcement agencies to log every recovered firearm used in a crime into a justice department database to help track gun trafficking patterns. Police record-keepers had initially argued that a provision for reporting the information within three days would be impractical, but it has since been extended to seven days.

Wilcox said a couple of bills her organization supported stalled. One, SB 1185 by Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require law enforcement agencies to account for all firearms in their possession, whether service weapons or confiscated guns. It did not appear to have organized opposition, but Wilcox suggested costs to implement the law may have been a concern.

Another stalled bill, she said, was AB 2817 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, which would have allowed suicidal people to temporarily give their guns to a friend. Current state law prohibits private gun transfers. Though it did not appear to have organized opposition, Wilcox said it may have raised concerns about the justice department having to set up a system to account for the temporary gun transfer.

• AB 1927 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would allow people fearing they might kill themselves to voluntarily enter their names in California’s background check system to prevent themselves from purchasing a gun. The National Rifle Association argued that the person would have great difficulty getting removed from the list once the crisis passed.

• AB 2103 by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, would require training for applicants for a license to carry a concealed firearm be no less than eight hours in length, and specify safe handling and shooting proficiency requirements. The NRA argued it is a “solution in search of a problem” with no evidence of the need for additional requirements.

• AB 2888 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would strengthen the Gun Violence Restraining Order by authorizing school employees and co-workers to petition the courts for a gun violence restraining order if they suspect someone is becoming a danger to themselves or others. Critics include the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued people who don’t have a close family relationship with the person to be disarmed could not adequately assess their potential threat.

• AB 2781 by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, would require law enforcement agencies to obtain and submit ballistic images of fired bullets and expended cartridge casings associated with crime guns into the National Integrated Ballistics Imaging Network database. Critics include state sheriffs and crime lab directors citing concerns over compliance costs.