Top 10 Stupidest New Laws in California for 2017

california-flagI’m not in the habit of complaining at the outset of a column, but I’ve taken on a nearly impossible task — figuring out which, of the hundreds of new California laws about to go into effect, are the stupidest.

Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

It’s really, really hard to keep the list at 10 with hundreds of hare-brained schemes that became real laws.

After all, for far too long, the California Legislature has been a “conservative-free zone” — even though there were a handful of “Republicans” occupying seats and taking up space.

I’m going to list the new laws in order of their egregiousness to me, but I’m open to additions or wholesale re-ordering if you care to comment.

Given that Californians are facing 898 new laws going into effect on January 1st, 2017, there’s plenty to hate.

  1. Prop. 63: “2nd Amendment Nullification” Act.  Although various portions go into effect in various years — yes, they staggered implementation of this “critically needed reform,” some out to 2019 — this is the most sweeping assault on our long-cherished, God-given natural right as Americans to protect our lives and our freedom.  It requires you to pass a background check and pay for a permit to buy ammunition for the gun you may have just passed a background check to buy.  Yeah, that’ll stop criminals — who buy their guns and ammo in parking lots from other criminals. WooHoo! Next, it makes high-capacity magazine (any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds) illegal to possess — even if you bought it prior to the current ban and ownership was previously considered grandfathered.  This law should make it clear that the goal of the left is not “safety” — it’s control.
  2. SB880: “Bullet Button Ban.” For years, California Democrats have sought to ban a made-up classification of semi-auto rifles with “evil features” that they re-named “assault weapons” for propaganda purposes. Every year, California Democrats attempt to increase control over this “hated group” of guns — until they finally outright ban all semi-automatics.  This law will not do a single thing to further public safety, as the San Bernardino terrorist attack illustrated — determined mass murderers will simply ignore and work around all gun control laws — as if they are just words on paper. One last bit of irony: in a previous legislative session, this same bill was sponsored by none other than disgraced State Senator Leland Yee. If that name sounds familiar, you’re right. Leland Yee wanted to “protect” Californians from “assault weapons” on our streets — that is, until he was arrested for trafficking fully automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades in exchange for campaign contributions. He’s currently serving a five-year prison sentence.
  3. SB3: Minimum Wage Hike to $15/hour by 2020. As a result of a strong socialist push by unions and complicit governments — such as the union-controlled California legislature — businesses are looking to eliminate as many jobs as possible, investing in automation instead. When you combine this with unchecked illegal immigration — where you have an unlimited labor pool willing to work for sub-par wages under the table — the future for entry-level jobs and small business owners in California is bleak.
  4. AB1785 The “Hands Free” Law. This is another example of government gone wild. AB1785 prescribes driver behavior so severely that in and of itself, I believe it will cause more accidents — and more deaths. Not only must the phone be dash mounted — meaning you’ll have a permanent distraction right in front of you — but you may not text, take photos or video, or enter GPS destinations while driving. Fat chance of stopping those activities with a mere $20 fine. The bill does stipulate that “the only time a driver is allowed to touch the device is when he or she is activating or deactivating a “feature or function.” However, that process should only involve a “single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger,” according to the bill,” mynewsla.com reports. How about “hands off” my phone instead of an unenforceable “hands free” law?
  5. AB 1732: Single-User Restrooms. If you’ve ever had to go so badly that you used the opposite sex restroom at a gas station or Starbucks, then perhaps you think this law is needed. But do we really need another law regulating bathrooms? Some businesses have already put signs on their single-use restrooms designating use by either sex. And sometimes people just take it upon themselves. I can’t help but think this law is unnecessary and diminishes us as a society a little.
  6. SB 1383: Controlling Cow Flatulence. Not making this up. In spite of the fact that 53 California dairy farmers went bankrupt, moved out of state, or just closed down this year, the Marxist-Progressives are back at it again. Capture cow farts or suffer heavy fines.  CARB (CA Air Resources Board) suggests inserting a tube into the cow’s digestive system and venting into a backpack. Even liberals admit that laws like this, where government tries to control the uncontrollable, can have undesirable economic consequences. Lost jobs, lost industries, lost revenue. Stupid law.
  7. AB 857: Ghost Gun Ban.  Even if you manufacture your own gun — starting with an 80 percent receiver — that requires you to have special skills and tools to complete the machining, you must now register it and obtain a serial number from the California Department of Justice. The purpose of this law is simply to record your name and your firearm on a list for eventual confiscation. Once again, control — not public safety — is the goal.
  8. SB1322: Legalizing Child Prostitution. This law bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution. Now that is nuts. I understand the idea of trying to not punish the victim, but certainly granting judges discretion is better than legalizing and therefor “green-lighting” behavior that is so harmful to the individual child.
  9. Prop. 57:  Early Release for so-called Non-Violent Criminals. This was Governor Jerry Brown’s baby — the crown jewel of his prison reform initiatives. Among those offenses he considers “non-violent”: rape of an unconscious person; human trafficking involving sex acts with minors; and assault with a deadly weapon. Blogger Felicia Wilson summed it up well (original emphasis): “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t a crime that includes the word rape or assault be considered, I don’t know … violent?”
  10. AB 2466: Felons Voting. Low-Level felons serving sentences outside of state prison get to keep their right to vote. Hmm. Wonder which party this could possibly help? Just like the “illegal alien vote,” Democrats will have the felon vote locked down. This is simply about protecting their power and making it permanent.

When California Democrats promised to take to the streets to defend the rights of convicted felons, illegal aliens and welfare recipients, they weren’t kidding. If only they were as serious about cracking down on immigration cheats and violent criminals as they are about penalizing law-abiding citizens and gun owners, California would have more jobs, less crime — and might be a place people want to come to instead of fleeing.

Tim Donnelly is a Former California State Assemblyman. FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/ Twitter: @PatriotNotPol 

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

New Bill Calls for Cops to Track Weapons

As reported by the Orange County Register:

A state bill introduced Monday would require California law enforcement agencies to keep track of their guns and establish a reporting procedure for when police lose them.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said he introduced the legislation in response to investigations published this year by the Orange County Register and Bay Area News Group revealing that many law enforcement agencies make little or no effort to inventory their weapons and that officers frequently lose their firearms – some of which end up on the street.

“The guns…fall into the hands of criminals,” Hill said. “The public will be protected much better when we account for law enforcement guns.”

The stories on lost police guns noted that there are no state or federal laws requiring police agencies to account for their weapons and few agencies voluntarily do so.

The Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System attempts to act as a national registry for law enforcement weapons, but agencies are not required to report when a registered gun is lost or stolen. Also, officers don’t have to register their privately-owned guns even if they frequently carry them in the line of duty. …

Click here to read the full article

Opponents fight California gun measure

As reported by the Orange County Register:

California voters’ approval of even tougher gun restrictions leaves opponents trying to contain the damage within the most populous state and across the country, an effort buoyed by Donald Trump’s election.

Proposition 63 bans possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, requires permits to buy ammunition and forces owners to give up their weapons as soon as they can no longer legally possess them. It also increases penalties for stealing a gun and for not reporting the loss or theft of a firearm.

The initiative passed with 63 percent support Tuesday, making it more likely that similar measures will be considered elsewhere, analysts said.

“It’s not like some tiny little state is doing this. If it’s feasible in California, it’s possible in most states,” Harvard University professor David Hemenway said.

Opponents will keep fighting restrictions with lawsuits and a public relations campaign, and by challenging politicians who favor gun control, said Sean Brady, an attorney and spokesman for the Coalition for Civil Liberties, which opposed the measure. …

Click here to read the full article

The Real Story Behind Senate President’s Endorsement of Prop. 63

kevin de leon 2When Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon endorsed Proposition 63 last week, he didn’t mention the endorsement was conditional.

This summer, the Los Angeles Democrat ushered through the Legislature a measure that substantially amends in advance the ballot measure’s ammo regulation provisions — a move a Prop. 63 spokesman at the time called “sickeningly cynical.”

For about a year now, de Leon has been in a political feud with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Prop. 63’s primary proponent. The two fought over who had better ideas for gun and ammo control and what lawmaking avenue was more appropriate: the Legislature or the Ballot Box. And at least for now, de Leon won.

None of this was mentioned in the endorsement.

“Earlier this year, our Legislature passed the most sweeping and important package of gun safety laws in the nation, increasing nationwide momentum and grass-roots outcries for common-sense safeguards against gun violence,” de Leon wrote in a statement. “I endorse Proposition 63 because we must send a powerful and united message to the national Gun Lobby that California will not capitulate to political bullying or compromise the public safety.”

Critics cry foul

Republicans in the Assembly tried to fight de Leon’s bill as it moved through the Legislature, arguing on procedural grounds, and were easily overruled. In an interview this week, Assemblyman James Gallagher, an attorney by trade, called de Leon’s actions “ridiculous,” adding the Los Angeles Democrat is “trying to change what might be the will of the voters.”

“The voters are being asked to vote on something right now that, if passed, [the Legislature is] going to change the language,” said Gallagher, a Nicolaus Republican.

Gallagher opposes both Prop. 63 and the de Leon bill, but said the procedure matters: “Is that the kind of precedent that we want to set?”

Legal analysis

But, in fact, it may be legal.

“I don’t think I have seen this before, but it looks legit to me,” said Frederic Woocher, an elections law specialist at the Los Angeles law firm Strumwasser and Woocher, who has no connection with either the ballot measure or the legislation.

Prop. 63 does allow for legislative amendments, as long as they “further the purposes” of the measure and pass by at least 55 percent. According to Woocher, since the Legislature has the power to amend the measure, and since the legislation won’t go into effect until after Prop. 63 would pass, this is akin to passing the legislation next year — like postdating a check.

“Under this admittedly unusual circumstance, I believe it would constitute a valid amendment to Prop. 63 under the initiative’s provisions allowing for amendments (again, this assumes that it ‘furthers the purposes’ of the initiative),” Woocher said.

But is it transparent?

Where Gallagher and Woocher disagree most though, is whether the Legislature’s move is transparent. Gallagher said that the voter-fatigue inducing, 17-measure ballot and accompanying voter guide already make the process cumbersome on voters — adding pending legislative amendments makes matters worse.

“It’s bad enough that you have this huge voter pamphlet; let alone to have to go ‘Oh, well, also the Legislature may have passed a bill that’s going to change this language,’” Gallagher said.

But Woocher argued that because the Legislature took action prior to the November election, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office was able to consider the amendments in its analysis, interested voters will have the opportunity to become fully versed.

“The amendments may not be reflected in the title and summary per se … but I think it is not unreasonable to expect interested voters to review the entire Voters’ Pamphlet, which includes the Leg Analyst’s more in-depth and explanatory analysis of the expected impacts of the measure’s passage,” Woocher said.

A spokesman for Kevin de Leon did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Palm Springs City Council: Guns in Homes Must Be Disabled

GunOn Wednesday night Palm Springs city council voted for a new gun control measure requiring firearms in the home to be disabled with a locking mechanism or otherwise locked in a container.

The new gun control also includes a requirement that residents report a stolen gun within 48 hours and that concealed carry permit holders place guns “in a locked container” if leaving them in their cars.

According to The Desert Sun, 23 Palm Springs residents spoke at the city council meeting, with 15 opposing the new gun controls and eight supporting them. The council then voted 3-2 to pass the measures.

Moms Demand Action’s Dori Smith was one of the eight people who spoke in favor of the gun control. She pointed to the accidental death of a toddler in Louisiana as justification for Palm Springs to adopt the measures on disabling firearms in the home. She said, “We’re simply asking for safety first and saving lives.” Smith did not mention that far more children 10 and under are accidentally killed each year by fire and water than are accidentally killed with a firearm.

In fact, 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures showed that over seven times more children 10 and under were killed in fire-related deaths than accidental gun deaths. And the number of children 10 and under killed in accidental drownings was over 16 times higher than the number killed in accidental gun deaths. Besides being silent on these facts, Smith also failed to explain how requiring a law-abiding citizen to lock up his guns will save that citizen’s life if an intruder storms his residence.

Councilman J.R. Roberts voted to require law-abiding citizens to disable their guns as a way of preventing “youths” from grabbing a gun “in a moment of hopelessness.” Roberts did not explain why homes without “youths” in them should also be required to disable their guns.

Gun owner Andrew Hirsch was among the 15 who spoke against the gun control. He said “the prior city council was known for corruption” and suggested the current city council is soiling its own reputation by “using its powers to restrict the freedoms of law-abiding people.”

The passage of the gun control was preliminary. The city council will bring the measures up for a second and final vote during their next meeting.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart California

Sheriffs Condemn Gavin Newson’s Gun Control Efforts

Gavin newsomRiverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon are criticizing Gavin Newsom’s current gun control push as a misdirected effort that restricts law-abiding citizens and the Second Amendment, rather than criminals.

Sheriff McMahon, in particular, suggests that Newsom’s push exemplifies the habit of enacting more and more gun controls when there has been no effort to enforce the laws that are already on the books. McMahon said, “We still have people running around with guns that aren’t supposed to have them.”

According to the Press-Enterprise, McMahon sees Newsom’s push as just another way to restrict law-abiding citizens’ rights. And that — in addition to the lack of enforcement — is why he opposes it: “I generally oppose any legislation that puts any more restrictions or control on citizens having an ability to possess firearms,” Sheriff McMahon is reported to have said.

Sheriff Sniff reportedly expressed the same sentiments, but went even further by suggesting the added restrictions on law-abiding citizens harm public safety. According to the Press-Enterprise, he said, “In some cases, these proposed bills actually make our communities less safe, and remove inherent rights of our citizens to self-defense, or worse, allow only the wealthy, elite or the well-off to protect themselves.”

Newsom responded to the sheriffs’ concerns by suggesting Sniff and McMahon hold “a different point of view” than the sheriffs who had been in office before them. And he suggested that Sniff and McMahon are known to oppose “law after law after law.” Newsom added, “I think these things save lives. They can disagree … but the data does not support their point of view.”

If passed, Newsom’s gun control ballot initiative will enact a statewide “high capacity” magazine ban and put ammunition background checks in place.

It is interesting to note that in one of the most high profile attacks in recent memory — the May 2014 Santa Barbara attack, in which three innocents were gunned down, after others were stabbed — the gunman only used 10-round magazines. Newsom argues that limiting citizens to 10-round magazines is a way to reduce crime.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart California

VIDEO: James Lacy on Trump, Crime and Gun Control

Effort Grows to Scale Back California Gun Control Restrictions

GunGun rights groups have turned up the heat on Sacramento’s newest firearms restrictions, mounting an effort to repeal seven fresh laws through the ballot this election year.

“The group ‘Veto Gunmageddon’ needs to collect 360,000 signatures for each measure by the end of the month to get them before voters in November, KCBS San Francisco reported. An uphill battle awaits. “Lawmakers passed a dozen gun control bills in June, seven of which Brown signed into law, including legislation requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and a ban on possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,” as the San Jose Mercury News observed. Those provisions, the paper added, were identical to proposals Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom touted independently in his early-bird bid to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018.

Political powder keg

Although Democratic lawmakers irked by the redundancy have won out, analysts have speculated that Newsom could wind up benefiting most from politicking the Gunmageddon ordeal. “He will be able to say gun restrictions are under attack and that it’s more important than ever to pass my ballot measure,” Loyola Law School’s Jessica Levinson told the Mercury News.

What’s more, Newsom and his allies have already stockpiled a huge amount of cash relative to opponents of the Proposition 63 ballot measure. Prop. 63 “would ban possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines, require background checks for Californians buying bullets, create a process for getting felons to relinquish firearms and mandate reporting of lost or stolen guns,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Newsom’s Safety for All Committee reported it has raised $3.8 million so far, compared with $467,000 raised by two committees opposing” Prop. 63.

Supreme struggles

The scramble to settle the fate of the state’s gun laws in the court of popular opinion has played out against the backdrop of a very different kind of legal battle — one where the public’s voice could count for nearly nothing. Gun activists succeeded in pursuing a controversial case to the door of the U.S. Supreme Court. Although judges recently shot down their suit against the state of California, which requires a license for concealed carry outside one’s home, the groups vowed to seek a final decision from the nation’s highest court. “The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the law in June, ruling 7-4 that there is no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public,” the San Francisco Chronicle recalled. “Opponents sought a rehearing before the entire appeals court, but the court said […] that the request had failed to win a majority among its 28 active judges. No vote total was announced.”

“The century-old state law requires handgun owners to obtain a permit from a local law enforcement agency before they can legally pack their weapons in public. The permits are virtually unavailable to anyone except police and security guards in most metropolitan areas, but are issued in most rural and inland areas to any adult who asserts a need for self-defense and does not have a disqualifying criminal record.”

A rush to bear arms

Californians have been loading up on firearms this year. At their current pace, Golden Staters will cross the million gun threshold by January. “The soaring gun sale totals — which show 554,203 firearms sales through late July — come in the wake of mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas, followed by calls for gun control legislation,” Southern California Public Radio noted, citing new data obtained from the Dealer Record of Sales, a gun tracking system run by the state’s Department of Justice. “The system shows gun sales on track to surpass 2015 nearly everywhere in the state,” the station added, although “the percentage of households in the U.S. with guns in them has been falling for decades.”

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Gun rights group sues over California lawmakers’ addresses

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

A California gun rights group filed a federal lawsuit in Sacramento on Friday after the Legislature’s lawyer blocked a blog post that listed the addresses of lawmakers who recently supported gun control legislation.

Shortly after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of gun control measures July 1, a conservative blog posted what the author said were the home addresses of 40 legislators. The author pledged to keep the names up until lawmakers vote to repeal the laws or die.

The Office of Legislative Counsel demanded that WordPress, which hosted the blog, take down the post. The demand was based on a state law that forbids someone from posting the home address of an elected official with the intention or threat of causing great bodily harm, or if elected officials or their representatives demand that they not be published.

It was subsequently removed from the site and the author was barred from “publishing any similar content,” according to the the Firearms Policy Coalition. …

Click here to read the full article

Gun Control Ballot Measure Raises Direct Democracy Questions

Californian’s embrace of direct democracy continues to entrance those who want to legislate from the outside or to undo legislative actions. As explained in Laurel Rosenhall’s column Friday a bill intended to limit direct democracy has not reduced the number of measures that will appear on November’s ballot. Perhaps this is a result of circumstance — the lower signature count necessary to qualify measures or the decision of the legislature to crowd all initiatives on the General Election ballot.

The tools of direct democracy are available to those who want to set an agenda or to force the Legislature into action, or to reverse legislative action. I’m guilty of this myself both in being a proponent of initiatives that changed laws, and in the case of the workers comp initiative that never went before voters, a measure that pushed the legislature into action it probably would not have taken without the persuasive power of a coming, popular proposition.

The power to undo legislative action is a course I never participated in, which brings me to try and understand the strategy to refer to voters the six gun related bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

A referendum to halt a bill from becoming law must gather about 365,000 signatures in 90 days. That means 365,000 qualified signatures for each measure. To be sure the proponents net enough valid signatures they realistically need about 425,000 signatures. Each.

That means the proponents need over 2.5 million signatures in 90 days. Sure, a single gun advocate and registered voter would probably sign all six petitions but that is still a lot of signatures in a short time period. It won’t be done by volunteers alone. The process will be costly.

Which brings the question of strategy.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s gun measure, Proposition 63, is on the November ballot. True, the proposition is not identical in every way to the six bills signed by the governor, but close enough that the gun advocates want nothing to do with the bills or the initiative.

Funds will be needed to oppose the initiative. Would the funds be better spent opposing the initiative than funding the six-part petition drive?

The quandary for gun supporters is they face a two-front war.

It is doubtful that the referendums could qualify to appear on this November’s ballot, although that is probably the proponent’s goal. If enough signatures are gathered but miss the ballot, the bills are frozen until the voters have a say in the 2018 election.

If the gun supporters defeat the initiative but ignore the bills, the legislation still becomes law, even if an initiative defeat measures the sentiments of the electorate against the gun regulations.

If referendums are pursued and there are few resources left over to battle the initiative it could pass and become law.

If the referendums effort fails to qualify does that undermine the spirit to oppose Proposition 63?

If the referendums drive is successful in freezing the gun laws does that set a positive tone for Proposition 63 opponents?

And where will the money come from to do it all?

You can follow progress of the referendum effort on the Facebook page, Vetogunmageddon.

Joel Fox is editor of Fox & Hounds and president of the Small Business Action Committee.

This piec was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily