Thursday, August 30, 2012

Help Stop CA's Latest Bad Gun Law

There is a very bad bill on the Governor's desk that needs action on your part. AB 1527 will both require all long guns to be transported in a "locked container" and create a ban on the transportation of long guns outside the home with a list of "exemptions" for lawful purposes. Such systems in other states (notably NJ) have resulted in the arrest of countless law abiding citizens for inadvertent violations, or no violation at all.

Example: The law requires that you proceed directly to and from the "legal activity" while transporting your guns, with only those stops and diversions that are "reasonably necessary". You are coming home from the range and decide to stop for gas. You have half a tank. While you are in line, cop sees your gun case, walks up to your window and when you roll it down he sees you have 1/2 a tank. He runs your address and finds that you are close to your house. He can arrest you and you can be sentenced to 6 months in jail. Ditto if you stop to eat, or visit a friend, or any other activity a cop does not think is "reasonably necessary".

Add to this the fact that the law is very complicated and law enforcement agencies have little money to train officers on new laws and it is an absolute certainty that gun owners who are actually obeying the law will be arrested by officers who have not been properly trained. How do we know this? It is already happening with our current gun laws.

Finally, this is a law in search of a problem. There have been few, if any, cases of people "open carrying" long guns. Unlike the open carry ban on handguns passed last year, there has not been a lot of law enforcement support for this bill. Why is it being passed? Simply to make gun ownership and use harder. After all, one of the supporters of this bill recently admitted that the goal is an eventual ban on all guns, including hunting rifles and shotguns.

I urge you to follow the link below and register your opposition to AB1527 with Governor Brown. I have pasted my letter of opposition below - feel free to use it. When making your selection from the "subject" field, note that there is a specific selection for AB1527 - I believe it's listed as "AB001527 - Firearms". Be sure to click the "oppose" button at the top of the second page. Here's the link:

Here's my letter - feel free to use it - and please let anyone you know who might oppose this law know about this page!


Honorable Gov. Brown,

I am writing in opposition to AB1527. This proposed law is a very bad idea for a lot of reasons:

It will make the simple task of going hunting or target shooting much more complicated.

The law that would be created by this bill is so complex and convoluted that it is virtually certain that both law enforcement and gun owners will misunderstand it.

Exemption based systems, such as the one contained in AB1527, in other sates have resulted in law abiding citizens being arrested for inadvertent violations. They have also resulted in many arrests of gun owners who were, in fact, complying with the law.

AB1527 contains sections that are so vague that they invite abuse by over zealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

Because it is both unnecessarily restrictive, overly complex, and contains vague sections, AB1527 is nearly certain to be challenged on 2nd Amendment and other constitutional grounds.

Given that the DC Court of Appeals has ruled that long guns cannot be restricted in the same way, or to the same degree, as handguns it is virtually certain that a challenge on 2nd Amendment grounds will succeed. It is significant that this court reached this decision applying only intermediate scrutiny to the 2nd Amendment. The Supreme Court has signaled in McDonald that the level of scrutiny ultimately applied to the Second Amendment will likely be higher.

Defending AB1527 will cost the taxpayers a great deal of money. In the event of a loss, which is the likely outcome, the state may have to pay even more in attorney's fees and court ordered penalties.

Worst of all, AB1527 is a law in search of a problem. Unlike the situation with handguns, there have not been any problems with "open carry advocates" or others publicly carrying long guns. It simply is not practical to "open carry" a long gun as one goes through one's day. This law was written to prevent a problem that has not happened and probably will not happen.

For all of the above reasons, I respectfully request that you veto AB1527.

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