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Joint Legislative Committee Train Wreck

Beth Hummel
Legislative Assistant, Gun Owners of California

As expected, the 3-hour long Joint Public Safety Informational Hearing on Gun Violence January 29, 2013 finished as it began, claiming that much more information and stiffer gun laws are needed in order to solve gun violence in the State of California. Despite numerous admissions that California already has the most restrictive gun laws in the country, many liberal panel members expressed deep concern that we have now been outdone by an even more liberal New York State with their recently enacted rounds limit law.

Even though it was agreed that most gun violence occurs with handguns by the mentally ill and an undeniable criminal element, those facts were continually minimized by reoccurring discussions for limiting magazine capacities. Obsessed with ridding the state of semi-automatic handguns, assault weapons and multiple magazines, Senate Public Safety Chair, Loni Hancock and Assembly Public Safety Chair, Tom Ammiano, ensured that the majority of “expert testimony” came from the usual biased contributors, convinced that tougher gun laws will end school house massacres.

To no one’s surprise, testimony from the Department of Justice, clearly noted that Governor Brown’s realignment program has already proved to add fuel to the fire, with an early release of dangerous prisoners back into the population.

Stephen Lindley of the Department of Justice, described a serious backlog of nearly 19,000 mentally ill persons, considered armed and dangerous and known to illegally possess some 40,000 firearms. Due to years of budgetary constraints and subsequent lack of personnel, DOJ estimates the need to hire 50 more agents at a cost of $8 million and 3 years of manpower to track down and seize all of the illegal firearms. Ironically, Senator Steinberg (Dem) willing to suddenly free up DOJ’s purse strings, offered up tripling DOJ resources to collect guns from the criminally insane in record time. Senator Joel Anderson (Rep) offered a more fiscally responsible approach by looking into creating a task force made up of current DOJ and law enforcement personnel to provide the professional ground work necessary, saving taxpayers millions and ensuring a safer public.

Audacious misstatements regarding the ease in which citizens can travel to neighboring states to purchase illegal firearms and ammo, used to commit crimes back here in California were made as if it were a legitimate threat to public safety.   Law-abiding gun owners were described by Retired Senator Don Perata, as fringe elements ‘with a religious fervor like Pro-Lifers”.    Perata warned his fellow Liberals that the Constitution and the Bible are problem areas for their cause.     Allowed only a few minutes at the end of the hearing to speak, Gun Owners of California, Executive Director Sam Paredes, refuted their weak arguments:

- You need to deal with the facts. It is illegal to go to another state and bring guns back here to California. Federal law demands that dealers in every state must comply. If California citizens were allowed to buy firearms in neighboring states, those dealers would be committing felonies.

-Furthermore, the recent New York City rounds limit law – now LIMITS New York City law enforcement in the line of duty!

-The NRA and Gun Owners groups offer gun safety programs to help instruct our youth yet you deny our ability to educate, despite the fact the Boy Scouts have been doing it forever.

-As long as you continue to focus on guns and magazines, with no impact on the criminally insane, your laws will not change kids getting killed!

Jacky Parks, President of the Fresno Police Officers Association testified, “From the line level, we want to shift focus off guns and seriously address gangs, narcotics and the mentally ill.”

By DOJ’s own statistics, there are 400 million legally owned guns in America and yet only 40 assault weapons were used in the commission of a crime in the last 12 years. Yet the leftists in Sacramento relentlessly govern under their misguided, outdated view of reality. No evidence was shown that more gun restrictions has ever reduced crime. We know that the growing threat of an armed citizenry does!

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