SACRAMENTO—A package of gun control bills introduced by Democrat lawmakers passed the California Senate Appropriations Committee on June 13.
Several of the bills were proposed or fast-tracked in response to the recent mass shooting incidents in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Laguna Woods, California.
The bills now await a hearing date on the Senate floor. Assembly Bills (AB) 228, 1769, 2156, 2239, 2551, and 2552 passed the committee with minimal public feedback.
AB 228, authored by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to inspect firearm manufacturers every three years, at the minimum, to ensure compliance with current gun laws.
“I am proud to advance legislation that will tighten the protocols for purchasing firearms and increase gun safety in California. Following the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas ... it is vital that our country ensures these firearms stop ending up in the hands of criminals,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
Rodriguez’s bill passed 7-0 in the appropriations committee.
AB 1769, which passed in the committee 5-2, is authored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett (D-Ventura) and would prohibit gun shows at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. One of the largest firearm trade shows in the area, Crossroads of the West Gun Shows Ventura, is due for another event in August with an expected 8,000 visitors and 120 exhibitors.
“Unfortunately, the United States experiences far more gun violence per person than virtually every other modern industrialized country in the world,” Bennett said in a statement. “The United States has one of the most pervasive gun cultures in the world supported by a powerful gun lobby. Gun shows at the Fairgrounds enhance this and it is time for each of us to play a role in changing this culture."
The gun show has faced local opposition in the past, drawing in crowds of protesters after the Borderline Bar and Grill mass shooting in November 2018.
Meanwhile, the NRA Institute of Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), released a statement saying Bennett’s bill “imposes a one-size-fits-all restriction to prevent officials from deciding how to use venues.”
Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) is the author of AB 2156, which would "prohibit any person, regardless of federal licensure, from manufacturing firearms in the state without being licensed by the state," according to the bill.
Wicks believes her federal legislators are “failing horrifically” and that more can be done to add to California’s already tough-on-guns laws.
“We must do everything in our power under state law to strengthen protections for our communities, and be an example for other state legislatures to take action where our federal policymakers are not,” she said in a statement.
Her bill passed the committee 7-0.
The NRA-ILA pushed back against Buffy’s bill, too, saying “it prohibits private citizens from using 3D printing to make firearms, precursor parts, or magazines.”
“This arbitrary ban on 3D printing only harasses law-abiding hobbyists who wish to explore this new and emerging manufacturing process,” the statement continued.
Another bill, AB 2239 authored by Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), would prevent criminals of certain crimes from owning a firearm in the state.
Under current gun laws, a person convicted of a felony is barred from possessing a firearm, as well as individuals convicted of specified misdemeanors from possessing a firearm for the next decade following their conviction.
However, Maienschein’s bill, which passed 7-0, would “expand the list of convictions that prompt a 10-year ban to include crimes such as child endangerment and elder abuse.”
“Allowing firearms to be placed in the hands of the wrong individuals can have disastrous effects,” Maienschein said in a statement. “This bill is not a permanent fix to this issue, but I am confident that AB 2239 will help California take the necessary steps in advancing protections for vulnerable individuals from violent offenders.”
Assembly Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced two bills that passed the committee: AB 2551 and AB 2552.
AB 2551, passing 7-0, requires the DOJ to notify local law enforcement of attempted firearms and ammunition purchases by prohibited persons, while AB 2552, passing 5-1, reinforces thorough background checks and increases the “safety and oversight of gun shows in California.”
“We have an epidemic in our country when it comes to gun violence and enough is enough. In California, we want action and will continue to work on gun violence prevention,” McCarthy said in a statement.
Again, the NRA-ILA opposed AB 2552 arguing that “such restrictions continue to cut off access to law-abiding individuals who are looking to acquire firearm parts in accordance with existing law.”