Last Monday, the California legislature passed three new bills regarding guns. One created a new standard for getting a concealed weapon permit (8 hours of training and a live-fire test). A second denied gun ownership to anyone with two involuntary psychiatric holds in a single year.
Those are good laws, but it is the third that I think should be voted into law in all of our 50 states. It bans the purchase and/or possession of a gun or ammunition by anyone convicted of assault, battery, or stalking, regardless of the offenders relationship to the victim. And it makes that a lifetime ban.
Here is how Think Progress describes the new law:
Federal law prohibits people convicted of Domestic violence misdemeanors and abusers subject to protective orders from purchasing and possessing firearms. But there are significant limitations. For example, federal law does not apply to family members other than a spouse or a child. It also does not include non-spouse relationships, such as girlfriends and friends, and does not apply to stalkers. Nor does the law require convicts to surrender their guns. This is why state lawmakers enact their own measures.
California has among the strongest laws prohibiting Domestic Abusers from getting guns, according the Giffords Law Center. Currently, the state bans the purchase and possession of guns and ammunition of any person convicted of assault, battery, or stalking regardless of their relationship with the victim/survivor. If Brown signs the measure into law, it’ll be a lifetime ban.
These measures are common sense, as there’s a clear link between domestic abuse and gun violence. Research shows a significant corollary between domestic violence and mass shootings; indeed, even the Parkland shooter was reportedly abusive to his ex-girlfriend. Domestic abusers with guns pose an even deadlier threat to their partners and are five times more likely to kill them.I'm sure that right-wingers and other gun nuts will whine that this kind of law is a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They are wrong. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that cities and states may place reasonable restrictions on gun ownership -- and preventing people convicted of violence is an imminently reasonable thing to do.
It would make sense for all 50 states to adopt this law. Unfortunately some states (like Texas, where I live) won't do it. They consider the right to own a gun, even by violent people, to be more important than the lives of innocent people. That's why we must push to make this a federal law.