On New Year’s Day, SB 1100 authored by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) became law in California. SB 1100, signed by Governor Brown, raised the purchase age for all ﬁrearms in California to 21. After the horrendous tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, young people from Florida and across the US demanded that Washington raise the firearm purchase age to 21. The two most heinous high school shootings were perpetrated by teens with riﬂes. When Washington failed to act, Portantino realized that California allowed 18-year-olds to purchase riﬂes and other long guns. He vowed to change the law in California. He authored SB 1100 to raise the purchase age for all ﬁrearms to 21.
“As the father of a high school aged daughter, I felt it was my parental and legislative duty to answer the pleas from Florida and endeavor to make our schools safer for all our children. Parents shouldn’t have to choose bullet proof backpacks when then send their children off to school,” commented Portantino.
Last year, Portantino also authored SB 1177 to prohibit a person in California from purchasing more than one ﬁ rearm per month. Governor Brown vetoed the bill after it passed both houses of the legislature. Undeterred by Brown’s veto, Senator Portantino introduced the same measure today. SB 61 would make it a crime for a Californian to purchase more than one ﬁrearm every 30 days.
“Of the 26,682 guns used in crimes that were entered into the California Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms Systems database in one recent year, 11,500 were long guns. And in 2015, sales to single individuals ranging from ﬁ ve to 54 long guns per month occurred on 1,787 occasions, totaling 12,090 guns. Too many of these guns end up in illegal sales, posing a serious threat to public health. This issue is just too important not to give it another try,” added Portantino.
Senators Steve Glazer (D- Orinda) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) are Senate principle co-authors of the bill and Assembly member Rob Bonta (D- San Francisco) is again co-authoring with Portantino. Assembly member Bonta and Senator Portantino worked together on SB 1100 last year. All three legislators enthusiastically join this sensible gun control effort.
“Limiting the purchase of long guns to one per month would match the law we already have for handguns and would make our communities safer,” Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) said.
“Research shows that firearms bought in bulk are often later resold and used in crime. Someone who is buying a number of guns at one time can be operating as a trafﬁcker or as a straw purchaser for others who would be prohibited from buying a gun or who want to buy them outside of legal channels. This bill is clearly in the interest of public safety.” commented Senator Steve Glazer
“No one needs to purchase more than one gun a month, limiting the number of guns an individual can purchase is a proven strategy to reduce gun violence. I am proud to co-author this common sense gun safety legislation.” said Senator Wiener.
“We must take all common-sense and effective steps to prevent gun tragedies. Over the years, long guns which include riﬂes, shotguns, and lower receivers have changed. They aren’t just your grandfather’s 12 gauge shot gun in the closet anymore. Today’s semi-automatic guns are more powerful and more lethal which is why I’m proud to join Senator Portantino as a co-author to expand the current one gun a month purchase law for handguns to all guns.” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta
There exists a serious problem in California with straw purchasers. These folks legally buy guns in bulk and then illegally sell them on the black market, often to criminals who are not eligible to buy guns. In addition, half of the guns seized by state Department of Justice agents from people ineligible to own them are long guns, he said. One person bought 177 long guns in two transactions within a one-month period in 2014.
“California may be a Western State, but it’s no longer the Wild West. A person shouldn’t be able to walk into a gun store and come out with an arsenal. One-gun purchase per month should be more than adequate for the law abiding citizen. This issue was just too important to not give it a fresh try with and new Governor in ofﬁce,” concluded Portantino.