California Governor Gavin Newsom signed 23 gun control bills into law on Tuesday. This move marked the end of what some would consider a period of either common sense or pandering after he vetoed AB957, an anti-parental rights bill.
Among these bills, three have garnered significant attention. SB 2, referred to as the “Bruen Response Bill,” AB 28, known as the gun tax bill and SB 452, the microstamping bill. Newsom suggests that these measures aim to reduce gun crime and deaths.
SB 2, which recently passed the Assembly, significantly impacts an individual’s right to self-defense. It restricts where one can carry a firearm, making obtaining a concealed carry permit more challenging. SB 2 designates over two dozen “sensitive places” where concealed firearms would be prohibited.
California Governor signs numerous gun control bills: pic.twitter.com/F86hawkRqs
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) September 26, 2023
SB 2 also makes commercial businesses default to gun-free zones unless the owner specifies otherwise. The bill also maintains strict application requirements— in-person interviews, character references and reviewing the individual’s social media presence. This raises obvious concerns among Second Amendment supporters.
These locations include daycare centers, schools, bars, college campuses, government buildings, medical facilities, parks, playgrounds and public transit. However, the citizens who legally obtain and carry firearms to protect themselves aren’t typically the ones carrying out crimes.
It’s usually criminals (like an individual who couldn’t pass a background check or legally obtain a firearm) looking to do something illegal, such as ignoring a “gun-free” zone and robbing a business regardless.
AB 28 introduces an 11% excise tax on all firearm and ammunition sales in California, increasing the cost of firearms and ammo statewide. Remarkably, California is now the sole state imposing an excise tax on firearms and ammunition, in addition to the existing 10-11% federal excise tax.
The tax targets dealers with over $5,000 in sales over three months but exempts law enforcement, even if retired. While the generated funds would be used to support school safety and youth gang prevention programs, many are still concerned about the lack of safeguards for responsible fund allocation.
SB 452 also mandates that all semi-automatic pistols sold in California after January 1, 2028, must include technology that imprints the firearm’s serial number on shell casings upon firing. It’s worth noting that a similar law, AB 1471, was passed in 2007 but faced technological challenges.
These bills all highlight the infringement on constitutionally protected freedoms. While the left argues that fewer guns equals less crime, supporters of the Second Amendment maintain that these measures ensure their rights to defend themselves and their property.
The Constitution granted us these intrinsic and essential rights for a purpose— pushing back against a forceful, controlling and oppressive government. The Second Amendment safeguards individual freedom, a deterrent against potential threats and symbolizes the values and history that define America.
Legal challenges against these laws are underway, drawing attention to the ongoing debate surrounding gun control in the state. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”