Cali "Gunpocalypse" Laws Proving Tough to Enforce

One gun control measure, the ammunition dealer licensing process and database, was supposed to be in place July 1. It's not.

The deadline for residents to register their "bullet-button" guns was pushed back by 6 months due to improper legislative procedure.
The deadline for residents to register their "bullet-button" guns was pushed back by 6 months due to improper legislative procedure.web photo

Last year, California passed a bunch of anti-gun laws that did everything from outlaw magazines that hold more than 10 rounds to requiring background checks for every ammunition purchase, but now, more than half-way through 2017, it seems passing these laws was easier than enforcing them.

This story from Fox News says the state has faced a number of setbacks in implementing the latest batch of gun control measures, blowing a bunch of deadlines and causing some of the new rules to be left in "legal limbo."

“After passing laws that expand the definition of 'assault weapon' and make it illegal to possess gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, the state is facing myriad problems in trying to enforce the new laws. The first trouble came when the California Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to draft their plan to register all of the rifles in California which have 'bullet button' reloading devices and other rifles that would fall under the state's expanded assault weapons ban. On June 26, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) determined that the DOJ had improperly sought to avoid the public comment period on the plan. That caused the deadline for registration to be pushed back six months.”

But there’s more. On June 29, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the state's planned magazine confiscation.

"The regulation is neither presumptively legal nor longstanding," U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said in his ruling. "The statute hits close to the core of the Second Amendment and is more than a slight burden. When the simple test of Heller is applied, a test that persons of common intelligence can understand, the statute is adjudged an unconstitutional abridgment."

The plan to conduct all ammunition sales through specially licensed dealers in California isn’t going so well either.

The story says by July 1 anyone who wanted to apply for a license to sell ammo were supposed to be able to do so online, and the state DOJ was supposed to have a database in place of all licensed dealers.

There is no database. There is no online license application portal. In fact, the regulations regarding the licensing process were just made public Monday, July 17, the story says.

At this point, the whole thing will take months to build—but in the meantime, every ammunition sale in the state will become illegal as of January 1, 2018 if there are no licensed ammunition dealers in California.

Part of what is creating so many speed bumps is the fact that gun rights groups have pushed back so hard against many of the new gun control measures from 2016, which were often referred to en masse as California’s “Gunpocalypse.”

The California Rifle and Pistol Association, with NRA backing, filed the suit against the magazine confiscation plan that resulted in the federal ruling.

Additionally, the Firearms Policy Coalition has filed a suit against the DOJ over their refusal to publicly release their proposed assault-weapons regulations, the story says.

"California governor Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, and the state's legislature have created a system of gun-control laws that are so complicated and so full of problems that the attorney general and thousands of DOJ lawyers can't figure out how to make them work without illegally creating new regulations," Brandon Combs, president of the FPC, told the Free Beacon. "I think that a number of things are contributing to the delays, including the fact that DOJ doesn't really want people to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. They don't prioritize civil rights, especially ones they don't like."

Combs said it will take years for the state to figure out how to even make the new gun-control measure work.

"I think that California's gun-control laws have finally become so complicated that we're now in probably a two- to three-year period of the state trying to figure out how to clean up the mess it made and make the laws enforceable," he said in the story. "These delays are really just a symptom of how insanely overbroad and complicated the system has become."

Part of the reason the laws are written this way, Combs says in the story, is to mask the real intentions behind them.

"Really, all of this is just layering lipstick on the gun-control pig," Combs said. "It's not that difficult to ban guns or people, but they are trying to do it in a way that makes it look like they are not. So, delays like this is what you get when gun-control proponents can't help but be dishonest about the laws they're passing."