SB 808 Passes the Senate (This is my shocked face)

shocked-baby-faceOK… So it isn’t much of a shock.

As most people expected, SB 808 has passed the CA Senate. The vote was 22-10 with 7 members not voting.

The bill will now be sent to the Assembly. We’ll update you once we know committee schedules and what not.

For those who aren’t up on current legislation (No, we don’t expect you to be as obsessive as we are!), SB 808 is Kevin de Leon’s “Ghost Gun” bill. What is a “Ghost Gun”? Let’s let Kevin explain it in his own words…

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Senator. Well… I could have. But it’s only noon and thus more than a little early to be whipping out that Costco-sized bottle of Jack; even if it would be for science.

But I digress…

A “Ghost Gun” is a legally produced, homemade firearm. More specifically, it’s an AR-15 pattern rifle that has been made either completely from scratch or from an 80% lower receiver. (Presumably, Mr. de Leon doesn’t have his knickers in a twist over guns built from complete lower receivers as these must be purchased through an FFL dealer and are serialized.) An 80% lower is little more than a shaped block of Aluminum or plastic. It looks like an  AR-15 lower receiver from the outside, but it lacks the internal spaces that hold all of the wiggly bits that make the gun go bang. Someone building a gun from an 80% lower would have to mill out the space for the trigger, safety, and hammer group as well as drill out the holes for the pins that hold these pieces in place. If this is starting to sound like an involved process, it is. One doesn’t bang out a completed firearm while in the car with his homies on the way to a drive-by.

So why would someone spend all that effort to make something that they could buy? For some, it’s about the process of making something like this themselves. It’s the journey, not the destination. For others, it’s just a matter of economics. An 80% polymer lower will run you about $70 plus ~$60 for the parts kit as compared to ~$170 for a completed lower. The upper in either case will be at least $500. Lots of folks can only afford to do this if they break up the purchases into smaller bites. Thus using a little elbow grease saves them money that can go toward the upper.

“But wait… Wouldn’t that mean…”

Yes, it means that people like Kevin de Leon think that working class Californians shouldn’t be able to possess firearms like the AR-15.  Mr. de Leon and 21 other California Senators want laws that would turn the 2nd Amendment from a guarantee of a liberty held by all into a privilege held only by the wealthy. One wonders what other parts of the Bill of Rights Mr. de Leon thinks ought to be limited to the 1%ers.

However, the following members of the Senate did not agree with that point of view…

Voting NO:

Not voting (which is as good as voting NO):

Their websites are linked above should you wish to contact them to express your gratitude for their votes or non-votes. (Though, I suspect that a few of the non-voting members will not appreciate the sentiment.)