Democrats Assault 2nd Amendment
Up for re-election in 2014, Jerry Brown vetoes several
nasty anti-gun bills in a pure CYA move.
People's Republic Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Friday that would have imposed the nation's toughest gun ownership restrictions on Californians, saying it was too far-reaching.
The legislation would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by the one-party controlled Democrat legislature's attack on gun ownership.
It was lawmakers' latest attempt to close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to work around previous assault weapon bans. Gun rights groups had threatened to sue if the semi-automatic weapons ban became law reports the Associated Press.
"I don't believe that this bill's blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners' rights," the Democratic governor wrote in his veto message.
He also noted that California already has some of the nation's strictest gun and ammunition laws.
The legislation was among 18 gun bills considered by the governor as he works toward a Sunday deadline to act on bills sent to his desk last month. He signed 11 firearms bills into law and vetoed seven.
The bill sought to ban the sale of assault rifles, but Brown objected that it also would have applied to low-capacity weapons commonly used for hunting, firearms training and target shooting, and some historical and collectible firearms. Brown also didn't want thousands of legal gun owners to have to register their existing weapons as assault rifles and be blocked from selling or transferring the weapons.
"That was, without a doubt, the most egregious piece of anti-gun legislation ever brought to a governor for his signature," said Clint Montfort, an attorney with Michel and Associates, West Coast counsel for the National Rifle Association. "We appreciate that the governor has respected the rights of California gun owners."
Brown approved a measure making California the first state to impose a statewide ban on lead bullets for all types of hunting. Hunting with lead bullets already is prohibited in eight counties with endangered California condors. About two dozen states also have partial bans, mostly in sensitive wildlife refuges.
But Brown rejected a bill that would have required owners whose firearms are lost or stolen to promptly notify law enforcement. The governor noted he vetoed a similar bill last year and still doubts that criminalizing the failure to report missing weapons would help law enforcement track down gun traffickers or those prohibited from owning weapons.
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said gun owners' rights groups will consider mounting recall campaigns or election-year challenges against Democratic lawmakers who voted for the gun bills. Final votes on the legislation occurred last month, just as two Colorado state lawmakers were recalled for supporting tougher gun laws in that state.
Paredes predicted lawsuits challenging bills that require safe storage of handguns, Skinner's high-capacity magazine bill, and legislation requiring that buyers of rifles and shotguns pass a safety test.
Still, he said, "We were only shot in the heart six times instead of 12 times, and I guess we should be happy with that."