On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a host of new bills relating to firearm ownership in the state, including one which would allow police to seize firearms from “at-risk” individuals. The governor also vetoed SB 808, popularly known as the “ghost gun” bill. Sponsored by Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), the bill would have required homemade or self-assembled guns to be registered with the Department of Justice, restricted the sale and transfer of these firearms, and required the inclusion of a permanent metal component in 3D-printed plastic guns.
“I appreciate the author’s concerns about gun violence, but I can’t see how adding a serial number to a homemade gun would significantly advance public safety,” Brown wrote in his veto message to the State Senate.
Gun rights advocates are calling the Governor’s decisions on Tuesday a mixed bag, but many are happy to hear that Brown declined to sign SB 808.
“Today’s veto of SB 808 means that law-abiding Californians won’t face a loss of their personal property under Senator de León’s incredibly misguided campaign against Second Amendment civil rights,” Brandon Combs, president of California Association of Federal Firearm Licensees (CAL-FFL), said in a press release. “For the second time this year, the people of our great state won a decisive victory against de León’s radical anti-gun agenda.”
Combs went on to call the bill a “nightmare” for gun owners and police as well, due to the difficulty of enforcing the registration of homemade guns.
Combs voiced concerns for the gun-related bills that were passed, especially AB 1014 (referred to as the “Gun Violence Restraining Order”), which would allow law enforcement to seize firearms from an individual for up to 21 days. Spearheaded by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), AB 1014 allows the seizure of firearms from individuals whose family members or police believe may be at risk of committing violence. The bill was hotly opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights groups, who pointed out that a hearing would be held only after a court order was issued.
“This slipshod and misguided bill will inevitably cause more harm than good, and it is ripe for abuse,” wrote Charles Cunningham, Director of State and Local Affairs for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
SB 199, also sponsored by Senator de León and later signed by Governor Brown, required new additional markings on airsoft guns in the state.