Gun Laws & Legislation

California Eases Up On Gun Crimes, While Restricting Gun Rights

By Larry Keane

California’s Gov. Jerry Brown wants everyone to know he’s tough on guns. But crimes with guns? Not so much.

Gov. Brown signed into law a bill that removed mandatory minimum sentences for criminals who use guns in their crimes. It came on the heels of him signing into law new requirements for firearms retailers to add to already lengthy packaging and literature warning requirements for firearms and ammunition.

Let’s pause for a minute. Firearms retailers are required to put bigger warning labels on their products because those who legally buy them might not understand they could be dangerous if not used properly, but criminals who purposefully use a gun in a crime won’t be required to do jail time.

That’s not logical. It’s ludicrous. Prior to this, the law in California required a criminal be sentenced to an additional 10 years on top of the sentencing for their particular crime.

It’s not just Gov. Brown who thought this was a good idea. The entire California legislature voted this measure to his desk. The new law, SB 620, started with Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) who introduced the bill after a 17-year-old involved in a drive-by shooting was sentenced to 25 years even though he denied shooting the gun.

It’s comforting to know that California’s law-abiding gun owners will continue to be put under a magnifying glass to satisfy a political agenda that demonizes them while not accomplishing any true measure of safety. Meanwhile, criminals who openly victimize the Golden State’s citizens won’t have to worry about carrying that gun to commit their crimes. Gov. Brown says they no longer have to do the added time.

This shows clearly that Gov. Brown, and the rest of the anti-gun California legislature, is more interested in scoring cheap points with their political base instead of pursuing and enforcing laws that will protect all citizens.

Larry Keane is the National Shooting Sports Foundation Sr. VP & General Counsel