Last week the California state Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 808, which is known to some as the “ghost gun” bill. Sponsored by Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), the legislation would require homemade or self-assembled firearms to be registered with the Department of Justice. The bill would also mandate the inclusion of a permanent metal component in 3D-printed firearms so those guns can be picked up by metal detectors.
“This bill takes a modest approach to address these new threats to public safety and further serves as a model for the entirety of the United States as gun violence grossly escalates in our country,” read a statement from Senator de Leon’s office on Friday.
The bill was introduced eight months ago with widespread support from gun control advocates, including the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. At the time, de Leon stated that the bill would not ban homemade firearms, but simply hold them to the same standards of factory-produced guns. However, gun rights groups in California say that the bill could have more far-ranging consequences than simple registration.
“SB 808 would mean that law-abiding gun owners who follow the law completely would be deprived of their right to sell or transfer serialized, registered home-built firearms,” Brandon Combs, president of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), told guns.com. “They couldn’t even pass their legally owned guns on to their children. If that doesn’t show how tyrannical Senator de Leon really is, I don’t know what would.”
Second Amendment advocates have harshly criticized de Leon for supporting the bill, especially after a January press conference in which the Senator referred to a specific self-assembled firearm as having a “30-caliber clip” and boasting a fire rate of “30 bullets within half a second.”
The CAL-FFL drew attention to what many viewers saw as de Leon’s lack of firearm knowledge, commenting that “the Senator’s use of made-up terms like ’30 magazine clip’ and ‘ghost guns,’ among others, confuses the public as to the actual policy issue: the state’s long history of failure to go after armed criminals and prosecute real crimes.”
SB 808 now heads to desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill.