July 02, 2020
By Mark Chesnut
California has one of the strictest so-called “assault weapons” bans on the books, making it extremely difficult for citizens of the Golden State to practice their Second Amendment-protected rights. Yet, anti-gun politicians there still aren’t satisfied, and they’ve now inserted more restrictive gun-ban language into a budget bill that is under consideration.
AB 88 is a public safety budget trailer bill that was recently amended in the state Senate, including an amendment that would expand the definition of an “assault weapon” under California’s Assault Weapons Control Act. If the bill were to pass, the state will force residents to register even more of their firearms as “assault weapons” or face steep penalties.
New language states: “This bill would expand the definition of ‘assault weapon’ to include a semi-automatic firearm that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, that either does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the attributes currently associated with assault weapons, as specified, that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, or that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.”
Of course, such a change makes the law even more confusing—a proven strategy used by gun-ban politicians to try to make gun owners regulate themselves by not buying certain firearms because the law is overly complicated. The language continues:
“The bill would provide an exception to the prohibition on possessing an assault weapon that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun if the person lawfully possessed the weapon prior to July 1, 2020, and registers the weapon by January 1, 2022, as specified. The bill would require the Department of Justice to adopt regulations to implement these registration requirements. By expanding the application of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”
Along with the change in assault weapon regulations, AB 88 would also expedite the effective date on previously passed precursor parts restrictions. Fortunately, the Assembly on Monday sent the measure back to the Senate without a vote, but expect further action on it after the summer break.
Two other anti-gun bills are also currently on the move in the California legislature, passed by the Senate and now in the Assembly for consideration. SB 914 would limit those under 21 from purchasing unless they have a valid hunting license. Of course, the Second Amendment wasn’t written for hunters, so such a law would almost certainly face a court challenge.
Another measure, SB 1175, is more of an anti-hunting bill than anti-gun. It would prohibit the possession of certain African species of wildlife. Such a law would only encumber lawful hunters who have legally harvested game on the Dark Continent and have already received the approval of the U.S. Government to bring their hunting trophies home.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.