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New California Gun Legislation Impedes Second Amendment Rights

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New California Gun Legislation Impedes Second Amendment Rights

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Michael Pruchanskiy

Dillon Carter, Staff Writer

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   It is no secret that California is one of the least gun-friendly states in the nation. To make matters worse, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new bill into law that takes away from the Second Amendment rights of California gun owners.

   According to the California Gun and Rifle association, Senate Bill 1100 was approved by Governor Brown on September 28, 2018. This new bill states that all people who wish to buy any firearm, rifle, pistol, or shotgun from a licensed dealer must be at the age of twenty-one or older (crpa.org). For many California gun owners, this raises some red flags, as they already have to comply with many strict gun laws.

   According to Giffords Law Center, licensed gun dealers in the state of California can’t sell a pistol to anyone who is under the age of twenty-one, but can sell a rifle or shotgun to someone who is older than the age of eighteen (lawcenter.giffords.org). With the new bill, starting on January 1, licensed dealers will no longer be allowed to sell any firearm to anyone under the age of twenty-one.

   “As far as self or home defense goes, handguns are much better, but now you can’t have a gun at all until the age of twenty-one, so [people under that age] are kind of defenseless if they are younger than twenty-one and not living with anyone older,” said Senior Max Thomson. One might be left defenseless if one is not allowed to have a gun at the age of eighteen. Most people finish high school by eighteen, and thus are more likely to move out and live alone. Living alone might compromise their safety, and now they can’t even own a firearm to have some peace of mind (settlement.org).

   Concerningly, this bill isn’t completely transparent with its restrictions. According to USA Today, this bill does offer a few loopholes to people who have reached the age of eighteen but not the age of twenty-one and still want to buy a gun. California residents who are active duty military or who hold a state hunting license will be exempt from the new law (usatoday.com). Which raises the question, why are other people excluded?

There are many people in California who love to shoot for sport and have no interest in hunting. This new bill will exclude many young law-abiding citizens from being able to own a gun. As of now, it is still legal for an eighteen year old to walk into a gun store and buy a long gun (rifle or shotgun), but only until January 1, when the new law goes into effect. There may be many reasons why one would not want to go hunting or want to join the military and at the same time still want to own a gun. Yet, these people’s rights are being taken away.

  It is understandable why some Californians may think adults under the age of twenty-one may be too immature to own a firearm. But on the contrary, gun ownership is necessary to ensure self defense. Thus, the protection one receives by owning a firearm outweighs the alleged benefits of age-restriction on gun purchases. If there are many young adults on their own without any protection, this could raise a safety issue. There have been many instances where people are faced with violence and they are left defenseless. If someone is faced with a gun, the only real way to feel safe is to have a gun as well.

   There is no reason for California to implement this new law. If the state is putting into place a new law, they should hold all state citizens to it. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and there is no reason to add a new one that will further revoke the rights of current and future California gun owners. Instead, California should focus on offering intensive classes to those under 21. This would educate the public rather than encourage unnecessary sanctions on gun ownership.

  

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New California Gun Legislation Impedes Second Amendment Rights