California Governor Jerry Brown signed 11 of the 18 gun-related bills that landed on his desk on Friday.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed 11 of the 18 gun-related bills that landed on his desk on Friday.

California Governor Jerry Brown came to a decision regarding 18 firearm-related bills last Friday, October 11, including controversial proposals which called for a ban on all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines as well as the mandatory use of non-lead ammunition for hunting. Of the 18 bills, Governor Brown signed 11 and vetoed eight. Among those signed were bills that required owners of long guns to obtain safety certificates, outlaw magazine size conversion kits, and the lead ammo ban.

Gun rights advocates were elated when the governor shot down SB374, which would have re-defined all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines as banned “assault rifles.” The full list of signed and vetoed bills can be seen below.

Signed bills

  • AB 48 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley): bans magazine conversion kits that increase capacity.
  • AB 170 by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena): only individuals, as opposed to an organization or trust, may be given a permit for “assault weapons,” .50 BMG rifles, or machine guns.
  • AB 231 by Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco): “criminal storage” expanded to include a loaded firearm where children could easily access it.
  • AB 500 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco): increased time for background checks and further restrictions on safe storage in residences with a person who is prohibited from owning firearms.
  • AB 538 by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento): firearm dealers must provide a record of sale to the purchaser.
  • AB 539 by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento): a person who is prohibited from owning a firearm may transfer it to a firearms dealer for storage.
  • AB 711 by Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood): bans the use of lead ammo for hunting.
  • AB 1131 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley): extends the amount of time someone is prohibited from owning a firearm after being deemed a threat by a therapist.
  • SB 363 by Senator Roderick D. Wright (D-Los Angeles): “criminal storage” expanded to include a loaded firearm where it can be easily accessed by someone prohibited from owning firearms.
  • SB 683 by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego): long-gun owners must obtain safety certificates.
  • SB 127 by Senator Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin): therapists whose patients make threats towards other individuals must notify the authorities of the possible danger.

Vetoed bills

  • AB 169 by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento): handguns that have not be tested or approved by the state would be subject to further restrictions.
  • AB 180 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda): a local proposal that would have given the city of Oakland an exemption from state laws so it can pass its own, stricter bills.
  • SB 299 by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord): require gun owners to report a firearm theft or loss to authorities.
  • SB 374 by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento): ban all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines.
  • SB 475 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco): a local bill that asked for a ban on gun shows at the Cow Palace.
  • SB 567 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara): all shotguns with a revolving cylinder and rifled bore would be considered illegal.
  • SB 755 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis): widen the list of crimes that prohibit a person from owning firearms.

After the signing, Governor Brown wrote in a statement that he believed the mandatory use of non-lead ammunition would be beneficial to the state’s wildlife. However, he says he is able to sign the bill only because of certain amendments that will make the transition easier for hunters.

“I am concerned, however, the impression left from this bill is that hunters and sportsmen and women in California are not conservationists. I know that is not the case. Hunters and anglers are the original conservationists,” Brown wrote. “Since the 1930s, hunters have done more than any other community to conserve species and their habitats, and that is a lasting conservation legacy.”

The ban has been pushed back to July 2019, five years later than originally planned.

Brown decided against SB374 because he believed that the “assault weapons” bill would have no effect on reducing crime but instead outlaw a multitude of historic, recreational, and hunting rifles.

“The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines,” Brown wrote in a veto statement. “While the author’s intent is to strengthen these restrictions, this bill goes much farther by banning any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine. This ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms.”

Gun rights groups are happy with the governor’s decision on SB374, although they say the victory is a meager one at best with the number of gun bills he did sign. Much like in Colorado, some gun owners are calling for the recalls of lawmakers who voted for SB374.

Image courtesy the Office of California Governor Edmund ("Jerry") Brown

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  • sailorman2

    As for the use of non-lead bullets on game animals I shudder to think of the number of wounded animals that would otherwise been quickly killed, living only to suffer a lingering and painful death. The stupidity of some politicians is only excelled by their ignorance.

    • Mark G.

      That is true. But perhaps hunters who use firearms for hunting can just get closer to the animal rather than taking longer shots. I am also wondering if there is any real evidence that lead bullets actually are a problem. I can understand a lead shot ban for birds who use a gizzard to grind up their food. But bullets are larger and there is not as many of them as in shot.

      • conservative

        There is no scientific evidence that lead shot or bullets contribute to the deaths of the animals that feed on carcasses that have been shot. That and most game animals are removed from the field and therefore not consumed by other animals.

  • justaskin’

    I totally agree with the statements of the previous three contributors. I believe anyone involved in a quick and merciful wild game take down, should use the best method possible for this. If, during the next 5 years, the ammunition industry is able to provide a reasonable substitute for lead ammunition, at a comparable price, I will find myself using it.

  • markw

    In many parts of California lead free ammo has been the law for a long time. Really not much of a issue. The gun safety certs for Rifles can’t hurt in theory. Lets see what the test is… Most of the laws are about background checks and mental illness. Which is a good thing. I hope medical professionals actually follow it this time..

    • Old Texian

      Seriously safety certificates for rifles? Next to banning lead ammo is to register a gun. Safety certificates will do just that. What a bum of a governor. No theory there. Think about what he just did to the long gun owners.

      There are federal laws in place now pertaining to background checks. The feds do not have the energy to follow the very laws they have in place. They would rather sell guns to the drug cartels.

      Medical professionals cannot legally release any information due to the HIPPA. I expect lawsuits to start flying soon over in Kalifornee over that one bill.

      And really a therapist? Wonder how many Hollawoods will get on that list if it ever happens!

      Your lead free ammo on the law books for awhile…..probably steel shot shells for bird hunting….but not for deer, or wild hawgs until now. Yeah, no congrats on that. And good luck with those leftist progressives that have ruined your state!

  • sailorman2

    Mark, I don’t think you are a hunter or you would know the difference between a soft lead projectile and a solid, probably either steel or copper projectle.. A solid projectile moving at a high velocity will just zip thru and thru an animal without the benefit of the mushrooming effect unless of course it hits a large bone which will then more than likely put the animal down. Solid bullets are designed and made for penetration not knockdown and shock. Think of a deer shot thru the lungs with a 30/06 using solid copper bullets. That deer will run off and then die probably within 1/2 hour Hit that same deer in the same place with a jacketed lead bullet and that deer will drop in it’s tracks. Distance doesn’t matter. In fact a solid projectile at close range isn’t as lethal as one at a distance. The only place for a solid bullet is for large dangerous game like Cape Buffalo, elephant or rhino, which is to say nowhere.

  • Chris

    Full metal jacketed bullets consist of a lead core surrounded by a copper casing. They are illegal for use in hunting applications… At least in most states. The homogenous non-lead bullets perform somewhat better……but not much at lower velocity (range). Regardless, and as already posted, the real issue is the lack of any evidence linking lead bullets to harming condors or any other wildlife through digesting carcasses. It’s a wicked tactic.
    The Hunters and Shooters here are damn grateful to Govenor Brown. We are constantly battling anthropomorphic urbanites for our rights to hunt, shoot, and defend ourselves. Zealots of any type are a pain in the butt, but you haven’t lived until you attempt to exchange meaningful dialog with a San Francisco anti-hunter or anti-gun advocate. They’ll instantly claim that they are “progressive” (whatever that means) intellectually superior, and then move on to attacking you…….there is no exchange of opinion or facts. They’re not the majority here in CA….. Just have the loudest and most aggressive mouths….. And the media eats it up… Let’s start the recalls now.

    • Old Texian

      “Progressive” means they are the left side of the Democrap party. They are the most dangerous and dream of this country becoming another low third world nation. They believe that you must do as they say, even drink, eat and sleep. They are the ruination of your state and they are breeding quickly via your liberal colleges. Your Governor is dangerous as well. So don’t be so eager to be grateful to a man who will certainly go hunting out of state using lead bullets. The only way that I know to get steel ammo is to steal it from the feds and trust me, they got enough to spread all over this country. Ban the ammo is the first move to fierce gun control. Rally the normals and recall and elect those who only follow what the Constitution declares. No, I am not a “Tea Party Member”, just full of old common sense.

  • Old Texian

    I cannot imagine any gun rights groups that are happy with this governor or their state representatives. They sold out Kalifornee for the lefties. Rally, re-group, re-call and get those in office who care for the 2nd. You are soon doomed if not. Good grief this is a sad time for hunters. And sad for the good guys in Kali….

    • Chris

      Thanx Old Texan… I spent 45 years of my life in NC, SC, GA, and Texas. Family obligations brought me to CA…… Will be moving next year to Southern Oregon. The extreme Lefties are ignored there. We (hunters and shooters) that live in CA really need support from other sportsman in other states. We’re frequently are just lumped into the pile with those we are opposed to here. You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve had to pass on perfectly CA legal Sportsman’s gear at various websites that post “NO SALES TO CALIFORNIA”. Many of them state their objections to CA laws,etc. Well hell, we agree…..so why penalize the Sportsmen and women here ? I’m thankful to Gov. Brown for his veto because it totally shocked me. I don’t agree with any of it except issuing all paperwork to the qualified buyer for the records I keep. I thought all of the crap was going to be enacted. Thank you NRA also….their pending lawsuit over this bill has been in the news here. Take care.