Published On: Fri, Aug 24th, 2018

ACLU fights California Democrats on gun control measures aimed to ‘send a message’ to the Feds

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is objecting to the California Democrats’ efforts to create further limitations on gun ownership based on mental health treatment.

These Democrats are pushing to secure five gun controls before the legislative session ends. One of those controls would expand bans on gun ownership to include new prohibitions related to mental health.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Democrats want to “prohibit gun ownership for anyone involuntarily committed to a facility twice in one year for a mental health disorder.”

A misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence would also trigger a ban on gun ownership.

“We’re sending a message to Washington that we are listening to these young people who face the threat of death at school and the parents who are out there wondering whether to buy bullet-proof backpacks,” said Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada-Flintridge.

Portantino’s bills would increase the age to buy all firearms to 21 and ban the sale of more than one gun in a month.

The ACLU is not against the bill that raises the age limit to purchase firearms, but does find problems with imposing restrictions based on mental health.

“This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous,” the organization wrote in an opposition letter to the author’s office.

Here are five gun bills to watch before lawmakers adjourn on Aug. 31.

▪ SB 1100, by Portantino, raises the age to purchase all legal firearms from 18 to 21. Californians are already barred form purchasing handguns until age 21.

▪ SB 1177, also from Portantino, places new restrictions on gun purchases and bans anyone — with the exception of law enforcement and licensed gun dealers — from applying to buy more than one firearm in 30 days. Existing law prohibits anyone from applying to purchase more than one handgun in 30 days.

▪ AB 1968 by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, establishes a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone who is involuntarily admitted to a facility for a mental health disorder, and considered a danger to themselves or others, more than once in a year.

▪ AB 2888, introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, allows co-workers, employers, high schools and colleges to request a gun violence restraining order against employees or students who attended in the last six months. Currently only family members and law enforcement can pursue a gun violence restraining order against someone. If granted, the individual’s guns would be temporarily seized and they would be banned from purchasing new firearms.

▪ AB 3129 by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, creates a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The bill applies only to convictions on or after Jan. 1, 2019, and is not retroactive to prior misdemeanor offenses.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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