By: Bruce Bialoski
Another mass murder and the country once again is grieving. The long knives come out for the NRA and the anti-gun lobby again demands new laws to restrict people from accessing guns. This time the president and the Democrats’ leading candidate to be the next president chimed in with Hillary stating she would pull an Obama and create a lawless executive action if Congress would not bend to her will and pass new restrictive laws. It came to me that I don’t think either one of these people actually understand what gun laws are in place.
That is because I didn’t really know. I am neither a gun owner nor a member of the NRA. I was having a discussion with my brother (I am the younger and much better looking one) who has taken up target shooting as a hobby. He has joined the NRA and owns more than one gun. He has a bad habit of becoming very involved in whatever he does and thus he sometimes shows off his knowledge. While we were discussing what happened in Roseberg, Oregon, and the political reaction, he gave me a tutorial on what is involved in legally obtaining a gun in California. I followed up his explanation with a discussion with a gun retailer.
In the state of California, you first must obtain a FSC (Firearm Safety Certificate) card. To do such you must first download the study guide pamphlet off the state website. The study guide runs 51 pages. After reviewing the guide you then go to a gun shop, gun retailer or shooting range which is authorized to administer a test. The test is 30 multiple choice questions and you must get 75% of the questions correct to pass. If you fail the test you must come back at a further time and take it again. The test is graded on the spot and upon passing you are issued a FSC card which has a serial number on it. You must pay a fee of $25.
The next step is to complete the identification of the hand gun or long gun you want to purchase. At this time you start completing the DROS (Dealer Report of Sale) paperwork. There is a main form and some ancillary forms. You pay the DROS fee of $25. You must present two forms of identification which includes a California picture ID and either something like a utility bill or auto registration. Then you have thumbprints taken which is part of the DROS paperwork. You then complete the purchase of your chosen gun. You are told to return in a period between a minimum 10 days and a maximum 30 days. If you do not return within 30 days, the process starts again with needing to complete the DROS paperwork from scratch.
The retailer must complete their own paperwork and their log detailing all gun sales. The DROS paperwork is submitted online with the thumbprints to the Department of Justice. The retailer provides their own paperwork to the customer about the proper operation of the gun.
Assuming the government approves your paperwork you can return to obtain your gun. The retailer must show that you can properly operate the gun before you walk out of the store with it. The California retailer must complete a form detailing the fact they have properly instructed the customer on the operation of the gun.
If you acquire a gun from a friend you must go through the same paperwork process as if you are buying a new gun. You must go to an authorized dealer and complete the DROS paperwork. The time delay between transfers of a gun is the same due to waiting for approval from the Department of Justice.
California is rated the most restrictive state for guns laws by the Brady Campaign. Some of the states where mass murders have recently occurred are in the top 10. Connecticut is the fourth most restrictive and that did not prevent Sandy Hook. Illinois is the ninth most restrictive and Chicago is a murder zone. Oregon is neither in the most restrictive or most lenient states for gun laws. The only state amongst those judged the most lenient where there was a notable incident of mass murder in this recent string is Arizona in which the Tucson incident occurred in 2011. In judging what is the most or least lenient by the Brady Campaign, they judge open carry laws as being a lenient factor which John R. Lott Jr. states from multiple studies deters crime because criminals are unsure who might be armed to defend themselves; and, when needed, the victims can defend themselves.
Hillary’s proposal which President Obama has previously reviewed and wanted to enact, but passed on due to our Constitution, mirrors California in regard to background checks. But her proposals regarding restricting other aspects are downright lame. She wants to keep guns out the hands of the mentally ill. Who does not want to do that? But the recent mass murderers were not defined as mentally deranged until way too late. She wants to restrict guns from domestic abusers who are not married or stalkers (federal law already restricts sales for married domestic abusers). That to me is not workable in any manner and just pandering to her perceived interest group. She wants aspects of the California law like training and notification, but she wants to enable people to sue gun manufacturers. Spoken like a true attorney. If the gun functions correctly then the problem with the gun is the user. This rule would swamp the gun manufacturers with lawsuits from gunshot victims and drive them out of business.
But that is what the anti-gun lobby wants to accomplish. After the Roseberg incident, when panelists demanding new gun laws repeatedly were asked on news shows what new gun laws should be adopted to prevent another incident from happening, supporters of more gun laws failed to cite one new law.
The common denominators between most of these incidents is that 1) The person acquired guns legally and 2) They attacked people in a gun free zone. What you cannot say about cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore is that the murderers in those cities obtained their guns legally.
Just like the Left wants to gradually drive America to having a single-payer health system and they are patiently moving us there year-by-year, they want to eradicate the ownership of guns in America and they are willing to do that piece-by-piece. They want to emulate what happened in Australia. And they will use any crisis such as Roseberg to get us there.