Bill Giving Oakland Local Control Over Gun Laws Passes Legislature

Bonta at a press conference last May on
gun violence in Oakland.
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

LEGISLATURE//GUN CONTROL | A bill giving the Oakland City Council a blank slate to enact stronger gun control measures than the rest of the state heads to the governor’s desk.

The legislation authored by Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta, passed Friday by the State Senate, allows the city stricken by gun violence to potentially offer gun laws along the lines of federal regulations, which are more restrictive than the state’s current laws.

The bill’s primary focus rests with the registration and licensing of commercial firearms, but does not contain specifics for how public officials in Oakland should implement any new rules. That will rest with Oakland City Council, a body known for its infighting, but regarding the issue of gun violence, have typically been unified in recognizing its corrosive effect on the city.

“No one can deny that Oakland is suffering from among the highest levels of gun violence in the state and in the nation,” Bonta said in a statement late Friday. “AB 180 is a smart and sensible bill that empowers Oakland and provides local control in addressing gun violence–where it is needed most.”

Budget cuts at the statewide level and locally have created a disastrous situation in Oakland as steep cuts in the number of cops on the street has exacerbated its problem with crime, Bonta added.

Gun rights advocates fear Bonta’s bill could set a precedent for tighter gun control measures across the state. During a discussion o then topic last May, Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly said the bill’s unintended consequences threaten law-abiding residents. “It is going to deny every citizen in Oakland the right of self-defense,” said Donnelly, who added. “This is really a poll tax on your right to defend your own life.”

26 thoughts on “Bill Giving Oakland Local Control Over Gun Laws Passes Legislature

  1. Moved out of Oakland because too many people had guns. Hows that working for you? Last I read you are the 3rd most violent city in the U.S.


  2. There's a great interview with Steve Jobs made in about 1995 called “The Lost Interview” or something like that. Jobs makes very clear something that I've been aware of all my working life–the difference between having, or discovering, a good idea and actually realizing that good idea. Very big difference.

    Jobs', and Apple's, success was largely due to his, and Apple's, ability to do the very very hard, tedious work of realizing some good ideas.

    Gun control is a good idea, a very good idea. Realizing this idea is something quite different. All the people like Ron Bonta, and the elected people in Oakland, and all the well-intended but utterly naive Oaklanders who support Bonta and Quan and the like, do not have the experience and knowledge to actually carry out all the things needed to bring real gun control to fruition. It's as simple as that.


  3. I like Bonta just fine as a person. But he's an idiot in terms of effective legislation.

    I'm not in the least interested in political office.

    Don't assume you speak for others. And, yes, I do live in East Oakland. I was born here no doubt before your parents were born.


  4. If you don't like Bonta , run against him. You will get trounced because most of us in Oakland love what he is doing. You are just another gun nut and I doubt you even live in our city.


  5. Ah, another imbecile who cannot read or think. You should run for City Council–you'd fit right in.

    Sure, most Oaklanders want gun control. But we want EFFECTIVE gun control. Effective gun control is NOT local laws which cannot be effective because guns used locally come from areas, especially other states, like Nevada, where there is little, if any, gun control legislation.

    What IS NEEDED is a national system so that gangbangers can't get guns in an adjoining state and bring them into Oakland.


  6. You are in the minority, every poll taken shows a majority of Oakland residents want some form of gun control.


  7. “Oakland wants this bill.” Not me, I'm an Oakland resident and native.

    “Oakland” also wants Jean Quan, “medical” marijuana for all (and attendant increased drug trafficking and violent crime), no cops, no brains in City Hall, and no help for struggling neighborhoods like East Oakland.

    Not me, nor anyone other Oakland resident I know.


  8. Oakland wants this bill whether you outsiders want it or not. Local control, what a democratic concept !


  9. Typical that a gun-control fantasist wants those who disagree to shut up. Heil HItler indeed. Fascists are all about gun control for anyone who isn't a true believer.


  10. Oakland is a cesspool like Detroit and Chicago. If I were a criminal, I'd love to be there because I know all the sheep are unarmed and a home invasion would be met with no resistance. So please, go ahead, ban guns. Invite all the criminals and gangs from the surrounding states into your city, as it'll at least make THOSE communities safer.


  11. LMAO, yea, because guns are the problem in Oakland.
    You guys need thug and gang control, not gun control. California already has the strictest firearms laws in the country and some of the highest crime rates. You cannot legislate good morals and a better society. just like NYC, crime will stay the same or go higher and nothing will change but you disarm the people legally possessing firearms. I have never met a gang member that went to the gun store to buy his firearm or cared about any law saying he could carry it or shoot people with it.
    “but if we get rid of all the guns, crime will go away” so Prohibition is the answer huh ? if we make them so hard to get then no one will kill each other, right ? just like crime rates in prison ,where everything is banned, are low ? no…didn't think so. The logic is flawed. criminals do not follow the law. thus, no law will effect them.


  12. Oakland bad guys here don't buy their guns in Oakland and probably not even in California.

    This bill will enable Oakland council members to continue to pay lip service to reducing violent crime here.

    Gives council members and the Mayor an opportunity to show how tough they are on crime while avoiding making the hard decisions on funding crime reduction efforts.

    Worse than paying Bratton to do nothing because as the other poster said, it will cost us big legal bucks to defend against gun rights groups.

    Bonta should have included several million in legal defense in that bill so we don't spend money on lawyers that would be better spent on more cops and more effective anti-violence programs.


  13. If Oakland could write useful local gun-control laws (which it cannot), it still would need a full-sized police force to enforce said laws. Which it cannot have given its financial condition.


  14. This leg. is DOA. If it ever passed–will be vetoed–the courts would throw it out so fast it would send Boondogle Bonta back to the stone age, where he belongs.


  15. The Oakland City Council tried to pass it's own cannabis laws. The City Attorney refused to cooperate, but they did it anyway and went way over the top in an act of patronage and pandering. The next thing you know, a US attorney unleashed the dogs of war on our dispensaries.

    What do you expect to happen when they write gun laws pandering to their constituents' extreme politics? They'll get sued by the CalGuns foundation, and it will cost taxpayers millions.

    On the state level, this sets an incredibly stupid precedent too. Allowing municipalities to write their own gun laws will create a patchwork of confusing laws across the state, and well meaning gun owners who have no intention of violating these laws will to so accidentally, and end up in expensive trouble.

    The reason for laws to be the same statewide is simple: gun laws are serious business, and most people have no clue as to when they're crossing municipal or county boundaries.

    I will be writing to Jerry Brown in longhand, urging a veto. I hope others do the same.


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