In  Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court made clear that sweeping gun bans are unconstitutional.

In response, we are seeing a new trend — don’t “ban” guns, but make it so costly, burdensome, and fraught with legal risk of an innocent mistake that otherwise law abiding citizens “voluntarily” disarm.

Everyone who is not David Gregory needs to worry about the swift arm of arbitrary prosecutorial discretion being smacked down on them with devastating life consequences.

A good example is the complicated and at times bizarre (as in 7 bullet magazines) New York gun law passed with almost no notice to the public.

California plans on topping New York, as detailed with obvious pleasure at Think Progress, California Democrats Propose Strictest Gun Regulations In The Nation:

1. Ban all semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines. California’s assault weapons ban only restricts the possession of semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines if they have an additional, “military-style” feature like flash suppressors. The new laws would tighten this law by banning all such rifles regardless of external features.

2. Ban possession of high-capacity magazines. California law bans the transfer, not possession, of magazines that can hold over ten bullets. This allows people wanting to skirt the law to buy the constituent parts and make the magazines themselves. The new law would close that loophole.

3. Ban “bullet button” conversion kits. State law defines “detachable magazines” as, in part, magazines that can be released “without the use of a tool.” Bullet button kits allow magazines to be released quickly by pressing a bullet into them, thus creating an end-around the intent of the assault weapons ban. The new provisions would ban such kits.

4. Bans shotgun-rifle combinations. It would ban this class of class of weapon.

5. Universal registration of all guns. The law would create “ownership records consistently across-the-board, ensuring all firearms are recorded” so that the background check system can prevent criminals from getting guns.

6. Background checks on ammunition. This provision requires a “full and complete” background check on ammunition sales, “building on” laws existing in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

7. Regulating gun loans. The legislators propose setting up an as-yet undefined regulatory system for the loan, as opposed to sale, of guns.

8. Prevent prohibited individuals from living in homes with guns. California’s Armed Persons Prohibition (APP) database lists people who can’t legally own weapons (as a consequence of criminal or mental health records) under state law. This addition would prevent people on the list from living in a house that has a gun.

9. Cracking down on people who can’t own guns legally but do anyway. Currently, 19,700 people who are on the APP list own guns. Police estimate that these people own roughly 39,000 firearms. This new law would authorize additional funding to enforce the law in this area.

10. Required safety training for handgun owners. People with concealed carry permits are required under California (and many other) state laws to pass a mandatory safety and firearm instruction course. This provision would require all handgun owners, regardless of permit status, to undergo a similar process.

A related proposal is to require liability insurance, which will price many people out of the market:

Gun owners in California would have to buy liability insurance to cover any damage caused by their firearms under legislation proposed Tuesday by two state lawmakers.

AB 231 was introduced by Democratic Assemblymen Jimmy Gomez of Echo Park and Phil Ting of San Francisco in the wake of the killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“The government requires insurance as a condition of operating a car -– at the very least we should impose a similar requirement for owning a firearm,” Ting said.  “The cost to society of destruction by guns is currently being borne collectively by all of us, and not by those who, either through carelessness or malice, cause the destruction.”

However, Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said the government cannot legally require citizens to buy insurance as a condition for exercising a constitutional right — bearing firearms.

“Also, what more can you do to discriminate against low-income residents who live in high crime areas and need their guns to defend themselves, than to require them to buy insurance they cannot afford?’’ Paredes said.

Expect legal challenges should these proposals become law.  The new laws are too-cute by half, obviously intended to force otherwise law-abiding citizens to navigate Rube Goldberg-like regulatory schemes as a precondition to the exercise of a constitutional right.

But in the meantime, as the cases take years to make their way to the Supreme Court, the street and drug gangs, and rogue left-leaning former cops, will have even more power knowing that they, and they alone, are able to defend themselves.


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