California Gun Bill Passes Senate, Could Restrict Gun Ownership For Those With Alcohol-Related Offenses
By Whitney Tipton
By Whitney Tipton –
The California Senate passed a bill Thursday that limits gun ownership for people with repeated alcohol criminal convictions.
SB55, which passed by a vote of 26-10, would revoke a gun owner’s permit for 10 years if he or she is convicted of two or more misdemeanors involving drugs and drinking within a three-year period, including DUI, disorderly conduct and public intoxication, according to the measure.
“On the 5 year anniversary of the #IslaVista tragedy, we must recommit to stopping gun violence once & for all. My #SB55, based on research by the UC Davis Gun Violence Prevention Program, will keep firearms out of the hands of people at risk of committing gun violence,” said Democratic State Senator Hannah Jackson, the bill’s author, in a tweet after its passage.
— Hannah-Beth Jackson (@SenHannahBeth) May 16, 2019
Gun Owners of California, a state gun-rights group, has opposed the bill since its introduction in Dec. 2018, comparing its effect to the movie “Minority Report” because the law would punish people who haven’t committed gun-related crimes, but who have instead been convicted of crimes subjectively determined to predict gun violence.
“In other words, even if you have never committed an act of violence, the state can yank your rights because of what they THINK you MIGHT do,” the group wrote on its website. “And if you think this is not already happening around the world, think again.”
Several regulations at the federal level prohibit gun ownership, including felony convictions, fleeing justice, or having a controlled substance addiction, according to the initial analyses, according to the initial analyses.
The updated law would be an add-on to California’s existing list of offenses that prohibit gun ownership, including felony or misdemeanor conviction of crimes involving violence, hate or the unlawful use of firearms.
The ACLU also opposed the measure, raising concerns of racially disproportionate consequences. “Those who are convicted of the offenses included in SB 55 already face significant jail time and fines for the offense itself,” they said in comments submitted for the bill’s Mar. 26 committee hearing.
“The criminal justice consequences of this bill that could follow them for a decade will not only worsen our state’s over-incarceration problem but will also have a disproportionate impact on communities of color.”
SB55 is heading to the California Assembly for consideration.
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