California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Some state lawmakers and other political leaders think they still don’t go far enough.
Last month, a state assemblymember from San Diego introduced a bill that would increase the number of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms after being convicted of a crime.
Currently, California law prohibits anyone who is convicted of a felony from possessing a gun for ten years. Assembly Bill (AB) 2239 would broaden that ban to include those convicted of certain child abuse and elder abuse crimes that may be misdemeanors.
San Diego leaders say the bill closes a loophole
The San Diego assemblymember who introduced the bill, Brian Maienschein, is supported by the city’s mayor and city attorney. City Attorney Mara Elliott noted, “This bill closes a significant loophole in California laws, which prohibit individuals from having guns when they are guilty of assaulting a stranger, but not when they abuse children or seniors.” She added, “By removing guns from these households, we can protect our most vulnerable citizens from the escalating violence that occurs when abusers have unfettered access to firearms.”
According to the current text of the bill, not only is anyone convicted of a misdemeanor involving child or elder abuse who receives, purchases or is found in possession of a firearm within ten years of that conviction subject to an additional one-year prison sentence and/or a $1,000 fine. So is anyone with an outstanding warrant for one of these offenses.
This bill has a long way to go before becoming law. In the meantime, however, if you are required to turn over your firearms and not acquire or possess any others due to a criminal charge, it’s crucial that you comply with law enforcement. If you have any questions about your firearms or are facing charges for illegally possessing them, talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney.