Bill Allowing Stronger Gun Regulations In Oakland Heads To Assembly Floor

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.

8 thoughts on “Bill Allowing Stronger Gun Regulations In Oakland Heads To Assembly Floor

  1. The junior assemblyman from Alameda excels at introducing, with much fanfare, feel-good legislation that is likely to go nowhere, or have any effect.

    Just take a look at AB59 which hasn't had any activity since January, and never will.


  2. Unfortunately the analysis preferred hyperbole with no basis in case law (see DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago) over the actual text of the measure, which would allow licensing and registration in the City of Oakland. Of course, any attempts to ban firearms would be immediately stayed and overturned. Similarly, any attempts to regulate non-residents would likely meet the same fate. But the analysis and the NRA never would let those facts get in the way of good politics.


  3. If the libs in Oakland can get this passed, eventually all guns will be banned in California. Thank God it has no chance.


  4. I shoulda written “Oakland has about half the cops it needs to enforce existing laws.”


  5. A couple of minor points that political newcomers like Schaaf and Bonta need to think about, in addition to trying to make political hay out of the current gun-control fad:

    1. Few, if any, laws are self-enforcing. Oakland has about the cops it needs to enforce existing laws (which it largely does not/cannot do). More cops before more laws would be a simple way to remember this.

    2. Most experts would be hard-put to identify an effective local gun law. Experts now seem to agree that the best gun control approaches should be based on supporting much better federal and state background check systems. NB: The California DOJ's background check system is a complete mess.

    Ancillary to the last: Pro-gun groups everywhere in the country have very deep pockets to challenge poorly-conceived gun laws. Such laws will be challenged and most of them overturned. Most gun owners, like most citizens, want effective gun-control laws, like those based on an effective, efficient background check system. The kind of legislation proposed by novice hacks like Schaaf and Bonta will likely be counterproductive.


  6. Oakland has a fine record of enacting effective laws, especially regarding public safety. It's such a good thing to encourage Oakland to go ever further.


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