California Gun Control Laws Spark Controversy

A controversial gun control bill may have been vetoed by California Governor Jerry Brown, but a statewide long gun registration law will take effect tomorrow, and the City of San Francisco approved its own high-capacity magazine ban. City officials recently approved a similar version of the statewide ban on the local level, and the National Rifle Association (NRA) is fighting back in court.

San Francisco has a history of supporting gun control initiatives which some consider an infringement upon the Second Amendment. A total ban on handguns in 2005 was ultimately overturned by a state court in 2008. Smaller scale gun laws have been passed in the city since the court invalidated the handgun ban.

Californians are waiting in lengthy lines and stocking up on long guns before the new law begins, according to the Sacramento Bee. Many of those waiting for their turn at the checkout told local reporters that the long gun registration law is unnecessary and an invasion of privacy. During the final week of 2013, long gun sales jumped by approximately 50 percent. The new registration procedure mirrors existing handgun laws and would allow the government to track the make, model, and serial number of long guns. Prior to the new California gun control law, weapons dealers would destroy the personal information of the buyer after the required background check was completed.

Despite the constantly evolving California gun control laws, crime in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, has increased, and FBI crime statistics show that homicides are at a two-decade high. After all, criminals, by their very nature, have no respect for gun laws, according to a report by Off The Grid News.

The new San Francisco high-capacity magazine ban was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors, making it illegal to sell guns with magazines with the ability to hold more than 10 rounds. The new San Francisco gun control law also requires that citizens who already own high-capacity magazines turn them in to the police department within 90 days.

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who sponsored the law, said:

“While not a panacea, this legislation provides law enforcement with more tools to continue to address gun violence and also continues to strengthen our city’s strong stance on gun regulation. Banning assault rifles only scratches the surface. We need to be better at addressing mental health concerns if we really want to solve the problem. She went on to state that she hoped the new gun control law would “serve as a model” for other cities in her region.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filed a suit against the law, saying it is unconstitutional. Larry Barsetti is one of the plaintiffs, and a retired cop. “All you’re doing is impacting honest law abiding citizens of San Francisco; the bad guys aren’t going to obey this law, they’re not supposed to be carrying guns in the first place,” Barsetti told a local ABC station.

The law firm that is filing the lawsuit on behalf of the NRA said:

“Although the San Francisco ordinance describes the banned magazines as ‘large-capacity,’ magazines with capacities of more than 10 rounds are standard for many common handguns and long guns. Millions of firearms that have been sold in the United States come from the manufacturer with magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.”

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