California Bill Would Effectively Ban Gun Dealers

UPDATE 4/21/16: AB 2459 was defeated in a committee vote.

California may become even more inhospitable for the Second Amendment if a new bill passes that would ban all Federal Firearm License holders from doing business in the state.

Assembly Bill 2459 is sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and would impose four new requirements on FFL holders that could force gun stores to close their doors, according to this story from Breitbart.com.

The proposed changes are as follows, according to this post by NRA ILA:

  1. A prohibition on licensee business premises being on a residential property.

  2. A clear statement that localities may impose more restrictive requirements on licensees than those imposed by state law.

  3. A requirement that licensees maintain full color video surveillance that is of sufficient quality to provide for facial recognition and records all firearm transactions on the premises, all locations where firearms and ammunition are stored, the immediate exterior of the licensed premises, and all parking facilities owned by the licensee. The video equipment would be required to run during all business hours and be set to begin recording when motion is detected at all other times. The licensee would have to certify to having compliant video equipment at least yearly and make any needed repairs to the equipment within 15 days of any damage. The footage would need to be stored on the premises for at least five years, but that could be extended if the footage may be part of a law enforcement investigation. Licensees would also be required to post a prominent sign indicating that customers are being recorded.

  4. All licensees would be required to have a liability policy of a minimum of $1M per incident to cover liability arising from "theft, sale, lease or transfer or offering for sale, lease or transfer of a firearm or ammunition, or any other operations of the business and business premises. The first of the four proposed requirements would bar FFLs from selling from their homes—even though they have to perform a background check just as if they were selling from a brick and mortar store, the Breitbart story points out.

The third requirement imposes an obvious expense and adds tedious layers to business practices. Also, it’s unclear how much the annual certificate confirming compliance with the video rules will cost.

The requirement for FFLs to carry $1 million of liability insurance adds additional costs, and the second requirement would allow for local municipalities to add even more layers of restrictions.