Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed five and signed six bills contained in a package of gun legislation, approved by lawmakers on Thursday.
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Brown vetoed the following bills:
Punishment for gun theft - AB 1176 Would make the theft of a firearm a felony, grand theft crime. This previously was state law, but 2014's voter initiative Prop. 47 reduced the penalties for theft crimes of less than $950 from felonies to misdemeanors. Though Prop. 47 supporters say this was not the intent of the initiative, an appellate court decided otherwise in a case called People vs. Perkins.
This bill proposes to add an initiative that is nearly identical to one which will already appear on the November 2016 ballot. While I appreciate the authors' intent in striving to enhance public safety, I feel that the objective is better attained by having the measure appear before the voters only once.
Purchasing gun parts - AB 1673 Expands the definition of a firearm to include "unfinished frames and receivers" that can be easily converted. The author says the intent is to "close a dangerous loophole that allows anyone to sell, trade and manufacture in partial-completion the only part of a firearm that is subject to serial-number." Opponents argue the new definition is too vague and might prompt arrests of people simply carrying a piece of metal or plastic.
While I appreciate the author's intent, the actual wording of this bill is unduly vague and could have far reaching and unintended consequences. By defining certain metal components as a firearm because they could ultimately be made into a homemade weapon, this bill could trigger potential application of myriad and serious criminal penalties.
One long gun a month - AB 1674 Long guns included in California's one gun purchase per 30-day period rule. Deletes from the existing exemption for a private party transfer through a licensed firearms dealer.
While well-intentioned, I believe this bill would have the effect of burdening lawful citizens who wish to sell certain firearms that they no longer need. Given California's stringent laws restricting gun ownership, I do not believe this additional restriction is needed.
Gun violence restraining order - AB 2607 Expands who can petition a court for a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) beyond immediate family members or law enforcement officers. It would allow an employer, a coworker, a mental health worker who has seen a person as a patient in the prior six months, an employee of a secondary or postsecondary school that a person has attended in the last six months to also petition for a GVRO.
In 2014, I signed Assembly Bill 1014 which allowed immediate family members and members of law enforcement to petition for a gun violence restraining order. That law took effect on January 1, 2016, so at this point it would be premature to enact a further expansion.
Penalty for not reporting lost/stolen gun - SB 894 Requires firearm owners report the theft or loss of a firearm to a local law enforcement agency within five days of the time they knew, or reasonably should have known, that the firearm had been stolen or lost.
I vetoed similar measures in 2012 and 2013, because I did not believe that a measure of this type would help identify gun traffickers or enable law enforcement to disarm people prohibited from having guns. I continue to believe that responsible people report the loss or theft of a firearm and irresponsible people do not; it is not likely that this bill would change that.