The mass in shooting San Bernardino, California on Tuesday is leading to fresh calls for more gun control in the United States. As reported by Media Trackers, liberals were quick to use the event — in which 14 people were killed — as reasons for the United States to adopt “common sense” gun control at the federal level.
The problem with this is that the State of California already has most — if not all — of the “common sense” laws that the left claims will stop mass shootings. These laws did not stop the attack on the Inland Regional Center, a non-profit facility for people with developmental disabilities.
Liberal politicians from President Barack Obama, to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have all called for Congress to pass more gun control measures. The “common sense” measures they often cite include universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods, ending the so-called “gunshow loophole,” an ban on so-called “assualt weapons,” magazines limited to 10 rounds, required safety training and licensing, and stiff punishments for “straw purchasers”– people who legally buy firearms and then illegally sell them to people who are ineligible.
California, which has Democratic super-majorities in both houses of the State Assembly, and not a single Republican statewide officeholder has already enacted all of these policies, making it one of the most restrictive states for gun ownership in the nation. According to data from PBS, 17 mass shootings have occurred in California this year.
Media Trackers reviewed California state gun laws to lay out how existing law mirrors federal proposals. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes come from the “California Firearms Law Summary,” published by the California Attorney General’s Office.
1. Universal background checks
“In California, only licensed California firearms dealers who possess a valid, Certificate of Eligibility (COE) are authorized to engage in retail sales of firearms. These retail sales require the purchaser to provide personal identifier information for the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) document that the firearms dealer must submit to the DOJ…The DOJ conducts a firearms eligibility background check to ensure the purchaser is not prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms.”
2. Mandatory 10 day waiting period
“There is a mandatory 10-day waiting period before the firearms dealer can deliver the firearm to the purchaser .”
3. No “gunshow loophole”
“Generally, it is illegal for any person who is not a California licensed firearms dealer (private party) to sell or transfer a firearm to another non-licensed person (private party) unless the sale is completed through a licensed California firearms dealer.”
4. “Assault Weapons” Ban
“With limited exceptions, California prohibits anyone from possessing an assault weapon unless he or she possessed the firearm prior to the date it was defined as an assault weapon and registered the firearm with the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in the timeframe established by state law. California also prohibits any person from manufacturing, distributing, transporting, importing, keeping for sale, offering for sale, giving, or lending any assault weapon within the state.” -Law Center to to Prevent Gun Violence
5. High Capacity Magazine Ban
“Generally, it is illegal to buy, manufacture, import, keep for sale, expose for sale, give or lend any large-capacity magazine (able to accept more than 10 rounds) in California.” -Office of the California Attorney General
6. Required Handgun Safety Training
“To purchase or acquire a handgun, you must have a valid Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) . To obtain an HSC, you must score at least 75% on an objective written test pertaining to firearms laws and safety requirements . The test is administered by DOJ Certified Instructors.”
7. Stiff penalties for “straw purchasers”
“It is a violation of California law for a person who is not licensed as a California firearms dealer to transfer a firearm to another unlicensed person, without conducting such a transfer through a licensed firearms dealer . (Pen . Code, § 27545 .) Such a transfer may be punished as a felony.”