Gun control legislation is typically considered a slam-dunk in California.
But on Friday Governor Jerry Brown vetoed almost as many of the gun legislation bills that were up for his final approval as he signed into law. It was a move that was unexpected to some coming from a Democrat in a state made up of a Democratic supermajority.
According to Elite Arms and Supply Co. owner Robert Davis, the decision by Brown was a somewhat unexpected dose of common sense that led to elation from his customers that have been tracking the bills ever since they were first announced – an affirmation of the things that Davis has been preaching ever since he first opened his doors.
“I think that is the government realizing that they can’t blame a tool for a person’s actions,” he said. “You don’t hear them blame the car for drunk driving. This is pretty much the same thing, and I think that common sense has won out here.”
California lawmakers had approved 11 new pieces of firearms legislation. Brown vetoed seven of them.
A number of online websites have sprung up in the last several months to track the bills as they worked their way through California’s legislature – some getting a lot of attention while others snuck in under the wire to get authorized and sent to the governor.
Brown approved bills that will make it illegal after 2019 to hunt in California with any lead ammunition, that will require purchasers of rifles and shotguns to pass a written firearms safety test the same that handgun purchasers are currently mandated and that will require mental health professionals that believe that a credible threat of violence exists to report that person within 24 hours. Those that made credible violent threats will now have to wait six months instead of only three before they’ll be allowed to buy a gun.
Davis said that he’s been keeping tabs on all of the happenings in Sacramento so that he can keep his customers informed. And while he thought that some of the bills were overreaching in their attempts, he didn’t expect all of them to get universally panned by the Governor.
It’s the people, says Davis, that helped reinforce that these were laws and restrictions that they didn’t want to see on the books in California.
“He (Brown) got thousands and possibly even hundreds of thousands of letters and phone calls from people expressing how they didn’t want to see this clear his desk,” Davis said. “I believe that he looked at them in a logical manner and saw what the rest of us saw.”
Several of the bills that flew through the Democratic legislature, like AB374 which would have banned the sale or possession of semiautomatic rifles capable of holding a detachable magazine, were not approved by Brown. Gun rights advocates were threatening legislators that voted for the bill with recalls.