Asm. Rob Bonta

ASSEMBLY//GUN CONTROL | A bill that would allow Oakland to enact stronger gun control laws than the rest of the state is moving on to the full Assembly

Assembly Public Safety Committee passed Asssemblyman Rob Bonta’s AB 180 which would allow Oakland, if they choose, with an exception to state law pertaining to the registration and licensing of firearms within its borders and possibly heavily regulating their use.

“It is widely recognized that the people of Oakland are suffering from gun violence,” said Bonta, referring to the rise in crime in Oakland coupled with shrinking police staffing levels. “Given the unique challenges and rampant gun violence facing Oakland, we wish to empower the city to enact a stricter regulatory regime for firearms licensing or registration than is in place for the state.”

Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf testified at Tuesday’s hearing in Sacramento. Later, at an Oakland City Council meeting later in the evening, Schaaf noted state legislation is rarely tailored to specific cities and their unique problems, but she believes the bill has a good shot at moving through the Assembly.

The National Rifle Association and others in the firearms lobby think otherwise and believe Bonta’s bill will cause havoc for gun-abidding citizens. In a legislative analysis published this week, the NRA said, “The repeal of state preemption would lead to an unpredictable patchwork of local laws. American citizens have right to travel from one jurisdiction to another in California without the fear of violating locally politically motivated ordinances.”

The analysis also noted this potential unintended consequence for allowing Oakland stricter gun control laws than its neighboring cities. “If this bill becomes law and the City of Oakland decides to ban all handguns in the City of Oakland how can people who reside in the City of Alameda (which is only accessible through the City of Oakland) transport lawfully owned firearms to and from their city?”

ASSEMBLY HEARING ON GUNS COMES TO OAKLAND Bonta’s office also announced the Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay, which he chairs, will hold its initial hearing May 17 at the Auditorium of the Elihu M. Harris State Building,1515 Clay Street, Oakland, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.