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California Legislature Sends Anti-Gun Bill to the Governor

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Contact the Governor Today!

Yesterday, Senate Bill 819 passed in the California Assembly by a 50 to 27 vote and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration. SB 819 passed in the state Senate on June 1 by a 22 to 16 vote

Senate Bill 819 would allow the Department of Justice to use the Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) funds to help pay for enforcement of California firearm possession laws in the Armed & Prohibited Persons Systems program. The DROS fund monies were originally collected from every firearm purchaser to pay for the administrative process for background checks. This bill will divert and drain hundreds of thousands of dollars of DROS fee monies that YOU have paid for background checks. As a result, the DROS fund will certainly run out of money. When it does, they will almost certainly want another increase in the fees YOU pay for firearm background checks.

It is important that you CALL and E-MAIL Governor Jerry Brown TODAY and urge him to VETO SB 819.  California is drowning in red ink and they want to use the surplus funds paid by law-abiding gun owners to pay for unrelated extra expenses.  Contact information for the Governor can be found here.

Please forward this alert to your family, friends and fellow gun owners in California and urge them to also call and e-mail Governor Brown to veto SB 819.

Recently, Attorneys for the NRA, California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation, Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods, and individual Fresno residents and gun owners have filed a lawsuit related to similar “fees” that have come about due to legislation like SB 819. The lawsuit, Bauer v. Harris, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (Fresno), alleges that the excessive “fees” being charged by DOJ to purchase a gun create an unconstitutional infringement on the exercise of rights protected under the Second Amendment. A copy of the Complaint is available HERE.

Over the years the fees imposed on firearms purchasers have increased dramatically, despite the fact that technological advances have caused the cost of conducting background checks on gun purchasers to go down. As a result, a multi-million dollar surplus has amassed but rather than reduce these fees, the state has instead sought to continually expand and subsidize the programs that this money can be used for. This lawsuit alleges that the DOJ illegally uses the revenues from these mandatory “fees” for general law enforcement activities that are completely unrelated to the valid regulation of lawful firearm purchases, and that the  DOJ is illegally overcharging gun buyers. In doing so, the DOJ places an unconstitutional precondition on the exercise of fundamental Second Amendment rights in California. Essentially, the state is unconstitutionally funding general police work unrelated to lawful firearm purchases off the backs of law-abiding gun owners. 

This lawsuit also alleges that the DOJ’s imposition of the fees are not really “fees” at all under California law, but are actually disguised taxes that are invalid and unenforceable since they were not adopted by the state Legislature by a two-thirds vote. Plaintiffs are asking that the statutes authorizing these “taxes” be declared void. 

Please continue to visit www.NRAILA.org for updates on this pending lawsuit.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.