Focus for February
Senate Bill 906: School safety: mass casualty threats: firearm disclosure
This bill would require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to develop model content for use by local education agencies related to a threat or perceived threat of an incident of mass casualties at a school. Using the model content, this bill would have the local agency require the parents or guardians of a pupil to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the pupil and to answer questions about the ownership, storage, and accessibility by the pupil of the firearms. The bill would also require the school to include information related to the safe storage of firearms in the annual notification provided to the parents or guardians of a pupil. If a school official is alerted to or observes any threat or perceived threat of an incident, the bill requires an immediate report to law enforcement. The education agency is required to conduct an investigation, including a review of the parent or guardian’s disclosure form, and a search of the pupil or pupil’s property if there is a reasonable suspicion that a gun or other evidence will be found. This bill was introduced and read the first time on 2 February, 2022.
Remember that last year the “red flag” laws were amended to add school officials to those who have standing to request a “Gun Violence Restraining Order” and have guns “temporarily” confiscated.
Senate Bill 915 Firearms: state property
Since the “no gun shows on state property” bill last session was eventually amended to only apply to Orange County, this is a new one to again try to make the ban statewide.
Assembly Bill 1223: Firearms and ammunition: excise tax
No action was taken by the deadline for the third reading and this bill died on February first. This would have applied 10% and 11% excise taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF) has issued a rule that requires gun retailers to carry storage or safety devices for any gun they offer for sale. The notice of proposed rulemaking for this rule was published May 26, 2016. This rule was published in the Federal Register 4 January and became effective 3 February, 2022. This is implementing regulation for language in the budget bill passed in 1999. The ATF rule includes modern muzzle loading black powder firearms in the definition for “antique and replica” firearms.
The rulemaking document:
The ATF rule changing the definitions of what constitutes a gun will likely be issued in June and the ATF rule on pistol braces will likely be issued in August.
Note: the Los Angeles city council has introduced a proposed ordinance patterned after the ordinance in San Jose that requires gun owners to pay fees and carry insurance.
In January a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Los Angeles and Ventura county orders shutting down gun stores and shooting ranges were unconstitutional. Completely denying access to firearms and ammunition is a direct infringement on the Second Amendment. The court said that considering gun related businesses to be non-essential was not appropriate. The county orders were issued in March of 2020, in response to the COVID pandemic.
An amicus brief was filed this week on behalf of thirteen states and the District of Columbia supporting the lawsuit by Mexico against a number of US gun manufacturers and distributors. California Attorney General Rob Bonta is one of the signers.
Duncan v Bonta: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc panel has overturned the district court ruling that found the California “Large Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional. The lawsuit challenges the ban of possession of large capacity magazines that was approved by California voters in Prop 63. Enforcement of the ban was stayed, pending disposition of a petition filed with the Supreme Court.
Renna v Bonta on the California handgun roster is being considered for certiorari by the Supreme Court. Four justices are needed for the court to hear a case.
Bianchi v Frosh has been appealed to the Supreme Court and will also be considered. This suit challenges the Maryland ban on “assault weapons”. This case has also been distributed for review to the justices and will be considered for certiorari.
Doe v Bonta is a new lawsuit filed by the NRA to block the release of gun owner’s personal information to UC Davis and other, unspecified, “research organizations”. Information has already been given to UC Davis.