AdvocacyGun RightsSecond Amendment

How The New Gun Laws Can Be Defeated In California

By Susan Shelly of LA Dai­ly News — The dif­fer­ence between a right and a priv­i­lege is the dif­fer­ence between a birth­mark and a chalk mark.

One can be removed only with a par­tic­u­lar type of pro­ce­dure, and the oth­er one can be swept away with a wave of the hand.

On June 30, when the Cal­i­for­nia Leg­is­la­ture passed 13 bills in one day to put new lim­its on the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to keep and bear arms, the speed and ease with which law­mak­ers turned ordi­nary cit­i­zens into crim­i­nals was a shock to a lot of peo­ple.

Craig DeLuz of the Firearms Pol­i­cy Coali­tion said the tor­rent of leg­is­la­tion was a “man­ic attack on law-abid­ing gun own­ers,” and pres­i­dent Paul Nord­berg called it “a full frontal assault” on Sec­ond Amend­ment rights.

Gov. Jer­ry Brown signed six of the bills the next day and one a few weeks lat­er. If they were rushed in the hope that Lt. Gov. Gavin New­som could be per­suad­ed to with­draw a bal­lot ini­tia­tive that cov­ered much of the same ground, it didn’t work. Newsom’s ini­tia­tive is Propo­si­tion 63 on the Nov. 8 bal­lot.

Under the new laws, the def­i­n­i­tion of “assault weapon” is broad­ened to ban guns that are wide­ly owned. A back­ground check will be required for every ammu­ni­tion pur­chase. It will be a crime to loan a gun to a non-fam­i­ly mem­ber, and ille­gal to pos­sess mag­a­zines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammu­ni­tion.

Gun own­ers are jus­ti­fi­ably angry at hav­ing the law­ful exer­cise of their rights sud­den­ly crim­i­nal­ized. Can any­thing be done about it?

Gun-rights sup­port­ers are cir­cu­lat­ing peti­tions to put a ref­er­en­dum on each of these laws on an upcom­ing statewide bal­lot, which would allow vot­ers to block the laws from tak­ing effect. There are cur­rent­ly about 600 loca­tions in Cal­i­for­nia where reg­is­tered vot­ers can sign the “Veto Gun­maged­don” peti­tions.

The laws can also be chal­lenged in the fed­er­al courts. The even­tu­al out­come will depend on whether Cal­i­for­nia can con­vince five Unit­ed States Supreme Court jus­tices that the state has a com­pelling rea­son for each law that infringes the fun­da­men­tal rights of gun own­ers.

And there’s one more thing Cal­i­for­nia gun own­ers can do. They can pro­pose an amend­ment to the state Con­sti­tu­tion that rec­og­nizes the right to keep and bear arms.

Cal­i­for­nia is one of only a hand­ful of states with a con­sti­tu­tion that lacks an equiv­a­lent to the Sec­ond Amend­ment. The oth­ers are Mary­land, Min­neso­ta and New York. The con­sti­tu­tions of New Jer­sey and Iowa guar­an­tee a right of “defend­ing life and lib­er­ty” with­out men­tion­ing firearms.

Every oth­er state in the union guar­an­tees the equiv­a­lent of Sec­ond Amend­ment rights in its state con­sti­tu­tion, from Maine — “Every cit­i­zen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall nev­er be ques­tioned” — to Neva­da — “Every cit­i­zen has the right to keep and bear arms for secu­ri­ty and defense, for law­ful hunt­ing and recre­ation­al use and for oth­er law­ful pur­pos­es.”

If Cal­i­for­ni­ans had that pro­tec­tion, it would be a lot hard­er for state and local offi­cials to bull­doze the rights of law-abid­ing gun own­ers.

With a lit­tle effort, a pro­posed state con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment could be qual­i­fied for the 2018 gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot, and every can­di­date could be asked if they sup­port the right to keep and bear arms.

Vot­ers should know which politi­cians think con­sti­tu­tion­al rights are writ­ten in chalk.

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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