Politics & Policy

California Legislature Approves Lifetime Gun Ban for Those Convicted of Domestic Violence

Browning shotguns are displayed during the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, May 6, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The California legislature has added to the state’s extensive slate of restrictions on gun ownership, passing three bills that would place a lifetime gun-ownership ban on anyone convicted of domestic violence or placed on two involuntary psychiatric holds in one year.

If signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the legislation would extend the current ten-year ban on gun ownership for domestic abusers to a lifetime ban, a measure the bill’s proponents claim will help ensure the safety of domestic-violence victims.

“We must do more to ensure the safety of our survivors of domestic violence,” Democratic assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, who introduced the domestic-violence legislation, told her colleagues, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A separate bill, introduced by Democratic assemblyman Evan Low, bans gun ownership for those ordered into psychiatric institutions by the courts twice in one year. The bill is intended to reduce the number of gun-inflicted suicide deaths, which comprise two-thirds of all gun deaths annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“People at risk of harming themselves or others should not have easy access to firearms,” Low said. “AB 1968 tightens our laws to keep firearms out of the hands of people who may be suicidal or violent.”

A third piece of legislation would require that Californians submit to eight hours of instruction and pass a live-fire test in order to obtain a concealed-carry permit.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a Second Amendment advocacy group, told the L.A. Times that the training requirement “casually enacts a  burdensome new mandate and then leaves it up to hundreds of different law enforcement agencies to determine how it should be interpreted and applied.”

The legislation was sent to Brown’s desk one day after a gunman killed two people and himself at a video-game event in Florida.

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