For years, California has been known for having some of the strictest laws related to gun ownership and use in America. In spite of this, California has not remained unscathed when it comes to gun violence, including mass shootings. The Golden State’s response to these incidents in 2018 was to pass a few more gun control laws. For 2020, several more came into effect.
CNN notes that the Parkland mass shooting is one of the most commonly cited shootings that spurred public desire to have more gun control laws in California. One of the many criticisms of gun ownership in America from foreign countries is that a person can be 18 to buy a murder weapon but cannot legally drink a glass of wine until they turn 21. California tackled this discrepancy by raising the minimum age requirement for buying a gun from 18 to 21. The law took effect at the start of 2019.
Here are some additional gun control laws that former Governor Jerry Brown signed into law:
- Lifetime ban for people who have been hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than once in a year
- Lifetime ban for people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes
- At least eight hours of gun safety training for people seeking permits to carry a concealed weapon.
- Allowed verbal requests from police officers for gun restraining orders when time is of the essence.
- Requirements to better track lost guns within a week of them being reported missing
ABC News San Diego reported several more restrictions were added to the list for 2020:
- Restricts Californians from purchasing more than one semiautomatic rifle during a 30-day period
- Puts tougher penalties against gun owners who keep their gun unlocked when a child or other prohibited person takes it out of the home
- Prohibits anyone banned from owning guns in another state from buying them in California
- Requires suicide warning labels on gun packages
Time will tell if these gun control laws have the desired effect of reducing violent crime involving weapons. What is certain is that convicted felons will now have a much harder time accessing guns after serving time. This is why so many accused men and women are doing everything they can to fight their cases.