You read that right. On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have banned the sale of most semi-automatic rifles, which receive detachable magazines. However, what Governor Brown passed continues to infringe on gun owners' rights.

While Brown did announce that he was signing other gun prohibition legislation on Friday, he rejected what is considered to be a centerpiece bill, which would have imposed some of the toughest restrictions on gun ownership.

SB374 was considered "too far-reaching" by Brown.

The bill was put forward by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D) and co-introduced by Senators Leland Yee (D) and Loni Hancock (D).

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg outlines his proposed legislation in February. The governor vetoed his bill, which would have banned sales of many semiautomatic rifles. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg outlines his proposed legislation in February. The governor vetoed his bill, which would have banned sales of many semiautomatic rifles. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

According to the legislation, it would have classified "a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds as an assault weapon. The bill would require a person who, between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, and who, on or after January 1, 2014, possesses that firearm, to register the firearm by July 1, 2015. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program."

This was one of seven bills that Brown vetoed.

However, Governor Brown did sign into law 11 gun related laws. Here's a list of those bills that were signed by Governor Brown:

  • AB48 makes it illegal to purchase the parts necessary to convert guns into "assault-style" (not actual assault) weapons and requires people selling or transferring ammunition to record the identification of the buyer and report the sale to the state Department of Justice.
  • SB683 will require people who buy rifles and shotguns to first pass a written firearm safety test and obtain a certificate, just like the buyers of handguns must.
  • AB500 allows the Department of Justice to extend the waiting time to purchase a firearm if a background check can't be completed within 10 days.
  • AB170 requires assault weapon permits to be issued to individuals, rather than to partnerships, corporations or other groups.
  • AB1131 extends from six months to five years the period during which a person who threatens violence is prohibited from purchasing a firearm.
  • SB127 requires licensed psychotherapists to disclose to local law enforcement within 24 hours the identity of a person who threatens violence against a reasonably identifiable person.

The banning the purchase of gun parts is ridiculous. This is something we covered before and can be a widely interpreted law which could be used to basically stop all parts sales.

Likewise SB127 is just as dangerous as everyone understand just how this is violation of doctor / client privilege and we have already seen at least one instance where a doctor called to report a patient for a threat, and even said they didn't think there was not an issue, yet police showed up to confiscate the patients guns.

All of these laws infringe on the person's ability to obtain a firearm, but they do absolutely nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Gun owners advocates threatened to recall legislators who voted for SB374.

"We are immensely happy with the bills that he vetoed, and horrifically distressed with the bills that he signed," said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. "He has planted his feet firmly astride of the fence, and like King Solomon, he has decided to split the baby in half."

Gun prohibitionists had mixed feelings about Brown's decisions.

"It's a step in the right direction, but it's a smaller step by far than we could have taken," said Garen Wintemute, the director of the violence prevention research program at UC Davis. "I'm glad for the bills he signed, but I think he missed some important chances to improve the health and safety of Californians, and that's regrettable."

Keep your eyes open California. While this may appear as a victory concerning the semi-automatic rifles, there is no doubt that the seven bills signed into law encroach on your freedoms.

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