Don't say change can't happen because it just did.
The California state legislature continues to lead the nation on common sense gun laws.
The bills are primarily aimed at limiting access to people convicted of domestic abuse.
These aren’t rules meant to undo the Second Amendment or take guns away from law-abiding people.
They are simple, common-sense changes that are aimed to restrict access to deadly weapons by people convicted of violent crimes or who have a repeated track record of severe mental illness.
“We must do more to ensure the safety of our survivors of domestic violence,” Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio said.
If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), the three bills would make the following changes:
- A lifetime ban on those convicted of domestic violence.
- A similar ban on those involuntarily placed in a court ordered psychiatric hold twice in one year.
- New standards for those seeking concealed carry permits.
This isn't complicated. But it is necessary.
Even the proposed concealed weapon permit regulations are minor. To qualify, applicants would simply have to take 8 hours of gun safety training and pass a basic firearms safety test -- two areas where the National Rifle Association offers multiple training and safety courses.
The law comes just days after a deadly shooting in Florida and only a few weeks after gun rights advocates failed in their court challenge to some of California’s other gun control measures.
Nine other states have similar laws and it's been a banner year for states passing gun control measures. But there is still a lot of work to be done across the nation.
We can both protect gun rights and reduce gun violence.
The debate over gun safety laws has always been political. The right to keep and bear arms is as old as our nation itself.
But as times change so must our interpretation of how to best protect those rights and the rights of those affected by gun violence.
We’re learning more about mental health every day. And technology is making it easier both to perpetuate violence but also to find innovative ways to reduce access for those who would manipulate our nation’s freedoms -- including the right to own firearms.
California is leading the way on sensible gun laws and showing there’s a way to make everyone safer while still respecting our basic freedoms. After all, there’s no greater liberty than life itself.