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California & Guns

by Thomas Sbrega, published

Attorney General Brown makes it clear in his Amicus Brief that California supports the NRA petitioners in their recent Supreme Court Case vs. the City of Chicago.

According to Examiner author David Codrea, "AG Moonbeam [Brown] isn't doing this because he likes us. California has a slew of anti-gun edicts he wants to position himself to defend."

He attributes Brown's second “reason for granting the petition,” which is to “affirm the applicability of the second amendment to the states and to provide guidance on the scope of permissible firearms regulations.” If the Second applies to the states, the probability is that existing and proposed gun laws will be upheld. “Those in power will not voluntarily cede it,” the author warns. This is not the intent of the NRA, obviously.

Unlike many states, California “has no state constitutional counterpart to the Second Amendment” and therefore Brown suggests that the Court should grant review because further guidance is needed." Does it apply to the “state” or to the “individual”? If it’s the former, should we presume that all our constitutional rights are granted first to the state by the federal government, then lent to the individual when the state sees fit (if at all)?

The brief insists that in California we may regulate handguns with safety measures yet we are careful not to interfere with the ability to purchase a wide range of handguns- over 1300 are available. California is defending the law with these petitions. “Heller's core Second Amendment holding that government cannot deny citizens the right to possess handguns in their homes.”

In the District of Columbia vs. Heller (2008) case “the Court declined to elaborate on the extent of the government’s authority to regulate firearms or to establish a standard of review applicable to asserted Second-Amendment infringements,” the A.G. says.  

For more on the bills (such as HR 2296 and S 941) stirring all the attention (i.e. more regulation, stricter penalties), read this NRA overview.

Personally, I find most firearm regulation ridiculous and illogical. Criminals don't buy guns legally. They don't shoot them legally, they don't store them legally, and they certainly are not concerned with precautionary safety legislation. This is a blatant attack on the people, not the criminals.

This weekend (July 4th) my friends and I were held up for an hour by law enforcement at Yosemite National Forest after showing our girlfriends what it's like to shoot a gun (a practice some consider an American novelty, yet I still consider applicable today; especially in rural areas such as the mountains of Yosemite).

The forest ranger who approached us actually accused us of breaking an unfounded law in order to extort money from my group- all on vacation- hours before Independence Day. Now, This is common practice in Mexico with corrupt federales, but I never dreamed it would happen in the states. He first tried to convince one of us to take all the blame and pay a $300 (which, incidentally turned out to be a random number) ticket for an offence he had in mind that did not exist. Basically, he was a negotiating salesman rather than a public servant.

Besides, as I said, the law proved unfounded. The closest law he could find he misread (i.e. "Firing a gun is not allowed: In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area. Across or on a road or body of water." It does not read 150 yards from the road- which was a desolate dirt trail hardly suitable for most vehicles- as he had originally interpreted it, Federal Website). 

It wasn't until we showed opposition to the fact that he could not find the infraction in his book and was unclear himself if it was an infraction that he left us off with a warning. Oh yeah, and the girls were crying too, thanks a lot buddy. Had we been less intelligent, more naive, or actual criminals, our approach probably wouldn't have worked.

Mind you also, two out of ten in company are natives to the area and never- in over 30 years- had there been a problem shooting there, in that exact same spot (as I've done years prior). When they asked the officer: "Where should we shoot?" he had the nerve to answer: "The range." This is America, we have an amendment for this very situation, yet this law enforcement officer displayed no qualms with infringing upon that amendment, apparently failing to realize that he is infringing on the security levels of our collective children. The harassment of citizens for owning and using guns is not productive to the safety and security of our republic. "The range?" Give me a break...




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