Thursday, May 2, 2013


California law boosts confiscation of illegal guns: Model for other states?

The California measure, signed into law Wednesday, authorizes $24 million to hire additional agents for a state program that takes away firearms from people prohibited from owning them.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation Wednesday that will increase funding for a state program that confiscates firearms from people prohibited from owning them because they have violent criminal pasts or mental illnesses.

Senate Bill 140 authorizes $24 million for the state to hire additional agents for its Armed & Prohibited Persons System (APPS), which has lacked sufficient resources to clear a growing backlog of illegally possessed firearms in the state, said state Sen. Mark Leno (D) of San Francisco, who coauthored the bill.

“We know for the safety of our communities that these people should not possess guns, and our reinvestment in this tracking program gives us the opportunity to confiscate them,” Senator Leno said in a statement.

According to state Department of Justice estimates, 20,000 Californians who collectively own 39,000 handguns and 1,670 assault weapons are in fact prohibited from owning firearms because they have been convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor, placed under a domestic-violence restraining order, or determined to be mentally unstable. Up to 20 people are added to the list each day.

California is the only state with an APPS program, which cross-references five databases to identify people who have legally purchased guns since 1996 but are now prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. The legislation will allow the state attorney general to hire 36 agents and support staff for APPS.

"This bill cuts right to the heart of the problem, getting guns away from people who aren't supposed to have them," state Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D) of Stockton told The Sacramento Bee last month.

Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates.

This program is crucial to public safety and could be a model for other states looking to enforce similar laws, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

“California is leading the nation in a common-sense effort to protect public safety by taking guns away from dangerous, violent individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them,” Ms. Harris said in a statement Wednesday.

Harris sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden in January, urging him to consider APPS as a national model, and she supported legislation introduced by US Rep. Mike Thompson (D) of California that would create the federal Armed Prohibited Persons Act of 2013 – a competitive grant program for states to develop their own APPS programs.

“No matter which side of this debate you are on, no one wants criminals or people with a history of dangerous mental illness to have guns,” said Representative Thompson, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, in a statement when he introduced the bill in February. “[The bill] simply gives states an incentive to develop successful programs that will keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree shouldn’t have them.”

Thompson pointed to other states developing similar systems: The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act included provisions to remove firearms from persons prohibited from having them, and Iowa already has a system to ensure that people with domestic-violence restraining orders give up their guns.

The National Rifle Association and gun-rights groups agree on the idea behind the law, but they did not support the California bill because of the cost burden it put on gun owners. The $24 million will come from extra fees that will be added to gun purchases.

"Going after criminals is a good thing, but the way they are paying for it is grossly unfair," Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told the Los Angeles Times. "They are putting the entire burden on the back of law-abiding gun purchasers."

Mr. Paredes said the state should instead create an education campaign to inform citizens who may not know they are disqualified from owning a firearm. It would be cheaper than doubling the number of agents in the APPS program, he said.

Some state Republican lawmakers also opposed the bill because of the funding issue, but the bill passed with more than the needed two-thirds votes. The Assembly passed it with more than the needed two-thirds vote Wednesday, and the state Senate passed it unanimously last month.

"This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals," Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Governor Brown, told the Los Angeles Times.

This is the first of several gun-control bills introduced in California in response to the recent shootings in Connecticut and Colorado.

How much do you know about the Second Amendment?

Tags : , ,



The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.


Popular Topics


Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.