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California: Update on Pro- and Anti-Gun Legislation Heard in the Senate and Assembly Committees This Week

Friday, April 27, 2012

This Tuesday and Wednesday, several firearm-related bills were considered and voted on in state Senate and Assembly committees.

On Tuesday, April 24, the state Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water heard anti-hunting Senate Bill 1221 and pro-gun Senate Bill 1367.  SB 1221 passed in this committee by a vote of 5 to 3.  SB 1397 passed in this committee by a vote of 7 to 2.  These bills will now be sent to the state Senate Committee on Appropriations.  Please call AND e-mail members of the state Senate Committee on Appropriations TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE SB 1221 and SUPPORT SB 1367.  Contact information for these committee members can be found here.

In the state Senate Committee on Public Safety, Senate Bill 1567 and Senate Bill 1569 were heard.  Both bills failed to pass out of the committee by a vote of 2 to 5.

In the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, Assembly Bill 2182 and Assembly Bill 2549 were heard.  AB 2182 passed in this committee by a vote of 4 to 2 and AB 2549 also passed in this committee by a vote of 4 to 2.  These bills will now be sent to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.  Please call AND e-mail members of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE AB 2182 and AB 2549.  Contact information for these committee members can be found here.

On Wednesday, April 25, the Assembly Appropriations Committee heard Assembly Bill 2333.  AB 2333 passed in the committee by a vote of 13 to 2 and will now be on second reading in the Assembly.   Please call AND e-mail your state Assemblyman TODAY and urge him or her to OPPOSE AB 2333.  Contact information for your state Assemblyman can be found here.

Explanation for bills that need to be OPPOSED:

SB 1221, introduced by state Senator Ted Lieu (D-28), would ban hunting bears and bobcats with dogs.  Hunting with dogs is a tradition that continues to be practiced across the country. Many dog breeds with select characteristics for hunting can be traced back for thousands of years.  Seventeen states allow bear hunting with dogs.  The use of hounds for hunting has never been shown to have an adverse impact on wildlife numbers as biologists and wildlife experts direct regulations and bag limits just as they do with other hunting seasons.

SB 1221 is supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – a group that supports banning all hunting with or without dogs.  Its President, Wayne Pacelle, has been quoted as saying: We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States ... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.  In 2003, HSUS unsuccessfully championed California Assembly Bill 342 that would have banned all hunting with hounds.  They now seem to be taking a deceptive and incremental approach to accomplish the same goal via SB 1221.  Don’t let anti-hunting extremists remove another traditional form of hunting.

AB 2182, introduced by state Assembly Member Norma Torres (D-31), would require that a person be arrested if they inadvertently attempt to bring a firearm through an airport TSA checkpoint and ban that person from entering that airport in the future.

AB 2549, introduced by state Assembly Member Isadore Hall (D-52), ignores many of the fundamental legal issues that have been created by the firearms polices and regulations of the California Department of Justice.  One specific section of AB 2549 will allow ONLY a law enforcement officer to retain ONE of the personally owned and regulated firearms should they leave their issuing agency, the rest of their personally owned and regulated firearms will confiscated and /or surrendered for disposal.  These regulated firearms can only be owned by law enforcement officers if he/she has received a letter from their issuing agency first.

AB 2333, introduced by Assembly Member Jose Solorio (D-69), would expand the crime of bringing a BB gun onto school grounds, to include non-metallic projectiles, and would impose an unnecessary and potentially severe criminal liability on everyday toys (not just BB guns and pellet guns) with severe penalties. Under this bill, a parent who inadvertently has a toy gun in their car when picking up their child from school can end up facing FELONY charges and up to a year in jail; the same is true for students who inadvertently have a toy that expels a plastic (or even a foam) projectile in their backpack or car.  AB 2333 would also create a negligent storage law for BB "devices," a person who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to that BB device without the permission of the minor's parent or legal guardian is subject to civil fines starting at $250.

Explanation for bill that needs to be SUPPORTED:

SB 1367, introduced by state Senator Jean Fuller (R-18), would allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry concealed for self-defense while archery hunting.  California law already allows permit holders to carry concealed during firearms seasons.

Pro-gun bills defeated in the state Senate Committee on Public Safety

SB 1567, introduced by state Senator Doug La Malfa (R-4), would REDUCE the current firearms transfer waiting period from ten days to "instant" for persons licensed to carry a concealed firearm.

SB 1569, also introduced by state Senator Fuller, would REDUCE the current firearms transfer waiting period from ten days to three days.

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