California Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking for an additional $5.6 million in his proposed state budget “to seize firearms from the thousands of people who are ineligible to be gun owners because of past criminal convictions or mental illness,” Fox News is reporting.
Newsom, an avid anti-gunner, took office last month, succeeding former Gov. Jerry Brown, who seemed to disappoint California gun prohibitionists by occasionally using his veto pen. Newsom has not indicated any such intention.
As State Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel observed during a Sacramento press conference, “We have all the ingredients we need to make meaningful change. We have expanded Democratic majority in both houses. We have a bright and ambitious new governor with a real track record on this issue who wants to make this a priority.”
With the exception of a change in governors, what Gabriel, a Democrat, described is essentially the same situation in Washington State several hundred miles to the north.
Right now, Democrats in Olympia are pushing all manner of new gun restrictions, including a pair of bills – one in the House and the other its Senate companion – that appear specifically designed to discourage concealed carry in the Evergreen State.
These proposed laws for the first time slap a training requirement on CPL applicants, and also remove a reference in current law that the applicant has a constitutional right to bear arms. Experienced firearms owners and instructors have historically supported competent training, if it is voluntary. Rights activists are wary about the deliberate omission of the constitutional right reference.
Washington has traditionally had a high number of active concealed pistol licenses. According to a report from the state Department of Licensing, there are now more than 613,000 CPLs in the state, which represents an impressive segment of the state’s adult population. That number represents 24,952 more CPLs added to the rolls over this time last year, and more than 5,000 added since Jan. 1.
Anti-gun Democrats and their supporters are evidently perturbed at the continued burgeoning interest in concealed carry among Washington residents.
Down in California, Fox News said that the “gun seizure program has been underfunded in the past, with the result being that around 10,000 people in the state were able to purchase firearms, but later were convicted of a felony or found to have a serious mental illness.”
Law-abiding gun owners in California or elsewhere do not want criminals or crazy people to have firearms, but there are serious concerns about due process in any case of gun seizures, especially under the provisions of so-called “red flag” or Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws.
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