October 3, 2014:
Widespread Changes to Firearm Laws in California
This week, California became the first state in the country to enact a firearm “restraining order” bill that extends to immediate family members. Assembly Bill 1014, which has been considered the legislature’s response to the lethal shooting in May near the UC Santa Barbara campus, allows immediate family members or law enforcement officers to submit a request to a judge for a firearm “restraining order.” If granted, the restraining order would permit temporary confiscation of a firearm from an individual believed to pose a danger to themselves or others. California Governor Jerry Brown also signed a bill Tuesday that requires toy guns to be visually distinguishable from real firearms (SB 199), but vetoed a bill requiring Californians to register homemade firearms (SB 808). A copy of Assembly Bill 1014 can be found here. A copy of SB 199 can be found here. A copy of SB 808 can be found here.
Congress Mulls Ban of Homemade Firearms
Congress will soon vote on whether or not to pass H.R. 5606, a bill which seeks to make it unlawful for an individual to build a homemade firearm without first paying a fee, submitting to a background check, and obtaining a serial number from a licensed dealer. If passed, the bill would also ban possession or transfer of a firearm made by a non-dealer or manufacturer after 1968, unless a serial number for the firearm has been issued pursuant to the bill. A copy of H.R. 5606 can be found here.
Female Firearm Ownership Continues to Increase
A 2013 poll showed that 23% of women nationwide are firearm owners. This percentage was up ten points since 2005. Although the 2014 statistics have not yet been released, several states have reported that this upward trend is expected to continue. It is estimated that almost half (48%) of first-time firearm purchasers in the United States in 2014 will be female. Experts have attributed the steady increase to a response to the influx of anti-firearm legislation, self-defense measures, and the ability of social media to provide a voice for female firearm ownership.