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California –The left’s lab rat.

July 5, 2016

If California moves any farther left, it won’t need an earthquake to separate it from the mainland.

Case in point…suspending the Constitution in the name of gun control.

California already has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. Governor Jerry Brown (D) just upped the ante substantially, signing a series of six anti-gun bills.

Never mind where you stand on the issue of gun control. That’s not the problem. The problem is the ideology and methodology behind the bills.

One of the more concerning is SB 1446, which authorizes what amounts to confiscation of and criminalization for the ownership of any magazine holding more than 10 rounds.

This is disturbing because it retroactively criminalizes what was lawful behavior for more than a decade prior to the bill’s passage and legally deprives citizens of their lawfully acquired property without compensation.

Although the bill doesn’t authorize a general search and seizure operation (yet) it does require that owners of magazines holding more than 10 rounds must divest themselves of them, or face a series of escalating fines as well as a year in jail even if such magazines were acquired legally under prior California law.

The specific wording of the penalty section of the bill is as follows. The entire text , including the exceptions is available here. The underlining is added for emphasis.

SECTION 1. Section 32310 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

  1. (a) Except as provided in Article 2 (commencing with Section 32400) of this chapter and in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, buys, or receives any large-capacity magazine is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(b) Except as provided in Article 2 (commencing with Section 32400) of this chapter and in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, commencing July 1, 2017, any person in this state who possesses any large-capacity magazine, regardless of the date the magazine was acquired, is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) upon the first offense, by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) upon the second offense, and by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) upon the third or subsequent offense.

(c) A person who, prior to July 1, 2017, legally possesses a large-capacity magazine shall dispose of that magazine by any of the following means:

(1) Remove the large-capacity magazine from the state.

(2) Prior to July 1, 2017, sell the large-capacity magazine to a licensed firearms dealer.

(3) Destroy the large-capacity magazine.

(4) Surrender the large-capacity magazine to a law enforcement agency for destruction.

(d) For purposes of this section, “manufacturing” includes both fabricating a magazine and assembling a magazine from a combination of parts, including, but not limited to, the body, spring, follower, and floor plate or end plate, to be a fully functioning large-capacity magazine.

This law states plainly that no matter how long you have had such a magazine or how lawfully you may have obtained it, it will now be illegal to possess it.

An exception is made for persons owning a weapon legally acquired prior to January 1, 2000 if there is no smaller capacity magazine available for it. Given the wording and the lack of listed exceptions, presumably the burden of proof that no such small capacity magazine is available would rest with the owner.

Critics who wanted this law to be even more restrictive are anecdotally reported to have had issues with section 32310, C1, 2 and 3 above, deeming them too easy to circumvent. They reportedly had hoped to amend SB 1446 to allow search and seizure of such magazines based on the perusal of FFL dealer sales records subsequent to 2000.

In addition, neither it or AB1511, which further restricts the lending of firearms, would have prevented the San Bernardino shootings, because criminals and terrorists don’t obey the law.

While it is difficult to do, set aside your personal convictions regarding gun ownership and look at the bigger picture.

The idea that your government, at any level, can retroactively reclassify your actions as criminal and deprive you of your possessions without compensation is absolutely mindboggling.

Notice that none of these bills outlaw gun ownership. They simply make owning one such a hassle that the homeowner who just keeps a gun for protection, or the hobbyist that likes to go out to the gun range and shoot on weekends or go hunting a couple of times a year may just decide that being on yet another government list, worrying about the definitions being expanded, being placed into a government database for lawfully purchasing ammunition (SB1235) or paying yet another fee just isn’t worth the effort (CA SB880).

That’s a common government tactic.

For instance, let’s say that in her zeal to eliminate all fossil fuel use, Mrs. Clinton decides to sign an executive order making it illegal to buy more than 20 gallons of gas or diesel  a month unless you have a special permit or maybe  pay a $2 a gallon special carbon tax.

That’s a whole lot easier to do than to shut down a mine, outlaw gasoline sales, crush all the fossil fuel powered vehicles, or repeal the Second Amendment and it’s very much the way government operates. Think sugary drink taxes or cigarette taxes.

Bad guys don’t need guns to cause mass killing incidents.  Just ask the people of Baghdad or Boston.

Given that the Democrats are now firmly controlled by the most left-leaning factions in the country, (Hillary blitzed California for $27 million in donations in May and is now spending $23 million of their money on anti-Trump ads) the effect of electing another one as our president should give anyone pause.

Congress reconvenes today, and news outlets are reporting that the Democrats are going to pick up where they left off with disruptions and perhaps more  ’60’s style sit-ins.

There’s a saying that as California goes, so goes the nation.

Let’s hope not.

From → op-ed

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