by Brandon Combs
SACRAMENTO, CA - Yesterday, the California Senate Public Safety Committee passed a number of extreme anti-gun measures, ranging from outright bans on guns and magazines, to ammunition seller and purchaser permits, to a “kick-the-can” bill granting municipalities the authority to ban gun shows on state property.
While the outcomes of those votes were as predictable as they are frustrating, California gun owners walked away with one significant victory: absolute solidarity among those on our side.
With that in mind, we want to thank the dozens of California gun owners who sacrificed time and treasure to attend the hearing and speak out against the bills. We must also thank everyone who sent messages, mailed letters, faxed comments, and phoned their representatives expressing the hundreds of reasons why these bills are wrong-headed and unconstitutional. Finally, we want to thank the people who valiantly and willingly, bill after bill and hour after hour, stood tall against the plainly one-sided committee, the bills’ authors, and the measures themselves. They are:
- Ed Worley, state legislative liaison for National Rifle Association;
- Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California;
- Tom Pederson, legislative liaison for California Rifle and Pistol Association; and,
- Craig DeLuz, legislative advocate for California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.
Gun rights organizations can, and all too often do, disagree on tactics to advance Second Amendment interests. There are certainly arguments to be made for and against every approach. However, this year, we simply cannot afford for our efforts to be diminished through distraction or to be anything less than unified.
The opportunity before us today is to put aside our differences and advance common ground. In our view, there can be no better place to start than the very substance of our shared philosophy: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
In 2013, California gun owners will face an unprecedented assault on their civil rights by opportunistic politicians and petulant power brokers. We are optimistic that the extraordinary cooperation and good faith shown by all parties yesterday -- forged through necessity, and fueled by a shared commitment to advancing individual liberty -- translates into not only an enduring coalition on matters of policy, but also in our litigation, grassroots actions, and everywhere.
Brandon Combs is the Executive Director of The Calguns Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members and the public by providing Second Amendment-related education, strategic litigation, and the defense of innocent California gun owners from improper or malicious prosecution. The Calguns Foundation seeks to inform government and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own, and lawfully use firearms in California. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.