When it comes to legislating firearms, those who oppose the Second amendment look to California for guidance and leadership. The state has become such an anti-2A monolith where no one can carry openly; it’s hard to get a CCW permit; and the sale of ANY rifle is practically banned. By all accounts, California has some of the nation’s strongest and most restrictive gun laws.
Yet, California increasingly is looking to the federal government to prosecute crimes involving firearms. Why? Despite all of the tough talk aimed at reducing gun violence, California is very lenient when it comes to sentencing. They don’t like to put people in prison for real crimes against local communities.
California recently enacted 15 new laws aimed at getting tougher on guns. One of the new laws limit how many firearms someone can buy. That includes buying no more than one semi-automatic rifle every 30 days. If a gun violence restraining order is issued, the person named cannot buy a firearm in California for five years.
Another one of the new laws falls under the Red Flag warnings that get all the media attention. This law enable teachers and just about anyone in the workplace to file petitions for firearms restraining orders. The aim clearly is to reduce gun violence in schools and workplaces, which is admirable. Reality tells us that system is open to abuse and will cause law-abiding residents to lose their firearms for five years because someone does not like them and decides to file a restraining order. That also is a great way to disarm someone who might be targeted for greater harm.
The state also is working harder to require registration of unfinished lower-receivers and similar parts that individuals can use to make their own “ghost guns.”
Ghost guns are unlicensed firearms with no serial numbers, which means state and federal governments cannot track or trace their ownership. That law makes more sense than many others California enacted.
California lawmakers are trying to reduce gun violence and criminal activity, which always is an admirable aim. The problem is, they mostly just punish otherwise law-abiding citizens with no intent of breaking any laws. When it comes to punishing real criminals, California is so lenient, local prosecutors are handing cases over to the feds.
President George W. Bush back in 2001 initiated the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which aimed to punish criminals using firearms. The program sought to root out those considered especially dangerous and prone to gun violence and maximize prison sentences via federal prosecution. In other words: It is a law that specifically targets known violent criminals and keeps them off the streets.
California, though, does not like to keep violent offenders in prison. State law gives felons caught with firearms just a three year maximum sentence in prison.
Most, though, do nowhere near that much time. Good behavior gets the sentenced cut in half, and many serve their time in county jails. Federal law is much tougher, with a maximum 10-year sentence and requirement to serve at least 85 percent of that time.
Federal sentencing guidelines are much tougher on violent criminals, and they target the right groups. Those groups are people known to commit violent crimes and who break gun laws in the process.
California only gets tough on law-abiding gun owners. When it comes to real criminals, they let the feds handle it, because they hate punishing actual criminals, they only like punishing law abiding gun owners. Shame.