California lawmakers approved three gun control bills on Monday, including two that enact lifetime bans and another that requires multiple hours of instruction to get a permit.
The bills will now head to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, the Los Angeles Times reported. But despite California’s pro-gun control, Democratic majority, there is some opposition to the bills.
In the mental health bill, anybody who has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hold will face a lifetime ban — an extension from the current 5-year ban. The bill’s sponsor, Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low, said the bill “tightens our laws to keep firearms out of the hands of people who may be suicidal or violent.”
The American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter in opposition to the bill on grounds that it’s unfair to people with mental health problems.
“This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous,” the organization said.
Another bill approved by California lawmakers on Monday requires Californians who apply for a concealed carry permit to undergo at least eight hours of firearm instruction and pass a live-fire test.
It also changes current language which says courses “must be no more than 16 hours” to “not be required to exceed 16 hours,” which Republicans unsuccessfully argued would make it possible for counties to put no limit on course hour requirements.
Likewise, the Firearms Policy Coalition called the bill’s language “vague and ambiguous.”
The bill, the FPC added, “casually enacts a burdensome new mandate then leaves it up to hundreds of different law enforcement agencies to determine how it should be interpreted and applied.”
One of the three bills that hasn’t appeared to receive much criticism is a bill that extends the current 10-year gun ban on people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to a lifetime ban.
“There is a very real connection between past domestic violence and a propensity to future violence, including mass shootings,” the bill’s sponsor, Democrat Assemblywoman Blanco Rubio, said earlier this year.
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