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Gun advocate aims at new laws
The executive director of Gun Owners of California believes anti-gun advocates are "going to throw everything they have at us," in an effort to ban guns in the state.
Sam Paredes made the statement as he spoke during the Corning Patriots meeting on Thursday.
Normally those who attend the patriots meeting lean in age toward the retired generation. But the topic of gun rights and the Second Amendment seemed to invite an audience a generation or two younger.
Presenting five proposed Senate and Assembly legislation concerning firearms or ammunition control, Paredes called them "bad bills."
Two of the bills are proposed by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Mateo. On is for firearms lending and residential storage, the other concerning assault weapons.
Paredes said the assault weapons bill would change the legal definition of assault weapon in the state to include semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols or semi-automatic shotguns that do not have a fixed magazine, but has any one of many specific features.
"The Second Amendment isn't about hunting or target shooting, but the natural laws of self-defense," Paredes said. "Our Founding Fathers wanted us, the law-abiding citizens, to have their own arms to protect ourselves, their families and property."
However, Paredes does not believe Yee's assault weapon legislation would stand up in court.
"The Supreme Court has already ruled on such a law in the District of Columbia versus Heller case," Paredes said.
In that case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of citizens' Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms, including semi-automatic handguns, semi-automatic rifles, and semi-automatic shotguns, in their own homes.
Adam Keigwin, Yee's chief of staff, said Tuesday that the senator's assault weapon bill is just closing a loophole in the state law concerning military-style weapons.
"As it is now, anyone with a 10-round magazine on a semi-automatic weapon can quickly change that magazine over and over without any tools or anything, making in very easy to reload and shoot over and over again," Keigwin said. "This bill would slow down that ability."
Paredes said anything politicians such as Yee do to infringe on citizens' gun rights will do nothing to stop mass casualties like those that have taken place in the country over the past few months. Yee's gun storage bill requires all guns be "properly" stored when not in the possession of their owner, Paredes said.
"This bill is in direct conflict with the US Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia versus Heller, but that doesn't seem to bother Sen. Yee," Paredes said.
Paredes believes if this bill passes into law it too would be overturned in court.
In that ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Second Amendment's protection of an individual's right to possess a firearm for protection.
"How well can you protect yourself if you have to unlock some device to get to your gun?" Paredes said. "Do we tell the bad guys to wait a minute so we can get our gun out before they break into your home?"
Keigwin found it "shocking" that Paredes didn't find this proposed bill to be a good idea.
"With it required that guns be locked in a storage department in your home, it would make it a lot harder for someone to get into your home and get a hold of it," he said.
Another proposed bill Paredes talked about was the Firearms Ammunition Tax, which he said would enact legislation that would establish a tax on all ammunition sold in retail stores and at gun shows. The revenue would go to a fund to prevent crime in high-crime areas of the state.
"That is an unfair burden as said in the Second Amendment," he said.
Proposed by Sen. Kevin deLeon, D-Los Angeles, Senate Bill 53 is the Ammunition, Purchase Permit.
"This will require registration of all ammunition, rifle, handgun and shotgun. Ammunition venders will be required to obtain a license to sell, and ammunition purchasers will be required to register every time they purchase any and all ammo," Paredes said.
"The senator tried to pass this bill once before and lost. If he wins this time we will beat him in court."
The last bill Paredes talked about also concerned ammunition sales. This one, Firearms Ammunition Sales (AB 48), is proposed by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.
Paredes said it makes it illegal to have parts to repair a legally possessed magazine that is capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
"It requires anybody who sells ammunition to an individual or business entity in or out of the state to obtain proper identification and report the sale to the Department of Justice," he said.
He believes many of these bills are reactionary due to incidents such as the school shootings in Connecticut and are already covered by laws already on the books.
"As long as we are still alive and willing to fight for our freedoms we have more than just a chance of taking this country back," Paredes said.
"We should be unscrupulous in obeying the law and at the same time fighting against the bad laws. We must be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with our guns our of the closes to fight our enemies, foreign and domestic."