In less than a week Senate Bill 140 unanimously passed in both the state Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the state Senate. SB 140 now goes to the state Assembly where it will be assigned to a committee.
Introduced by "F"-rated state Senator Mark Leno, SB 140 would again steal from law-abiding gun owners by raiding $24 million from the Dealers' Record of Sale (DROS) Special Account to fund the Department of Justice's backlog in the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). The DROS Account is the collection of money from firearm purchasers that pays for the administrative process for background checks and registration. Unfortunately, with the DROS account having a surplus of funds, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to use it like their own personal piggy bank and raid it whenever they feel like it.
The DOJ is saying the reason they are appropriating these funds from the DROS Account is to help pay for efforts to remove firearms from the hands of those prohibited from possessing them. The NRA agrees that the enforcement of the law is important but opposes SB 140 because the funds to enforce California's gun laws should come from the general fund rather than the money collected from law-abiding firearm purchasers to pay for the administrative process for background checks.
This is not the first time the DROS Account has been targeted as a "free" source of money by California politicians. Over the past several years, the state legislature has passed and the Governor has signed legislation into law allowing the DOJ to continually raid the DROS Account.
When the DROS Account was last raided in 2011 to the tune of $11.5 million, it was supposed to be for hiring and training new agents for the APPS program. To hire and train a new special agent for APPS, the cost is around $265,000 and another $207,000 per year. Now DOJ wants another $24 million from law-abiding gun owners.
The NRA has already filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the DOJ’s ability to use funds from the DROS Account in this manner, alleging that doing so violates the fee payers’ Second Amendment rights by putting the burden of funding general law enforcement activities on those exercising their rights instead of the public at large; that case is Bauer v. Harris. Apparently the California Legislature does not understand (or care) about the law, and is inviting more litigation from the NRA.
The state legislature needs to know that the DROS fund is not a money tree to be used by the DOJ to help keep them afloat and it will certainly run out of money at the rate DOJ keeps raiding it. When it does run out of money, what will be the answer to this problem – another increase in the fees for background checks? The NRA and its members in California will not stand for that.
Please call AND e-mail your Assemblyman TODAY and urge him or her to OPPOSE SB 140. Forward this alert to your family, friends and fellow gun owners across California and urge them to do the same. The DROS fund should pay only for the administrative process for background checks and not to keep the California DOJ in business.
Contact information for your state Assemblymember can be found here.
For a list of more anti-gun bills introduced in the state Senate that are of concern to law-abiding gun owners click here.
For a list of more anti-gun bills introduced in the state Assembly that are of concern to law-abiding gun owners click here.