FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2016
This is no April Fool’s day joke – the devastating firearm dealer ban, Assembly Bill 2459, authored by NRA-PVF “F” rated Assembly Member Kevin McCarty, has been scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday, April 5 at 9:00 AM in State Capitol, Room 126. It is imperative that you contact the members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE this appalling anti-Second Amendment bill.
As mentioned in our previous alert, gun control advocates have made their agenda very clear – removal of firearm availability piece by piece, until it is completely gone in California. AB 2459 would do just that, should this legislation become law.
AB 2459 would make four serious changes to California’s dealer licensing requirements.
- A prohibition on licensee business premises being on a residential property.
- A clear statement that localities may impose more restrictive requirements on licensees than those imposed by state law.
- A requirement that licensees maintain full color video surveillance that is of sufficient quality to provide for facial recognition and records all firearm transactions on the premises, all locations where firearms and ammunition are stored, the immediate exterior of the licensed premises, and all parking facilities owned by the licensee. The video equipment would be required to run during all business hours and be set to begin recording when motion is detected at all other times. The licensee would have to certify to having compliant video equipment at least yearly and make any needed repairs to the equipment within 15 days of any damage. The footage would need to be stored on the premises for at least five years, but that could be extended if the footage may be part of a law enforcement investigation. Licensees would also be required to post a prominent sign indicating that customers are being recorded.
- All licensees would be required to have a liability policy of a minimum of $1M per incident to cover liability arising from “theft, sale, lease or transfer or offering for sale, lease or transfer of a firearm or ammunition, or any other operations of the business and business premises.”
Federal Firearm Licensed Dealers (FFLs) in California already have to comply with strict federal and state requirements on those engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, including background check and record keeping requirements.
The video surveillance and storage requirement alone is likely to create so much additional cost to running a retail firearm business that most, if not all, firearms dealers will be forced out of business. Not only will that requirement mandate expensive high resolution cameras covering all aspects of a firearm business, including the parking lot, it will also mandate on-site storage of the surveillance footage. Storage of this much video footage will require many costly terabytes of data storage. And, because the footage must stay on-site, dealers will have no choice but to purchase their own storage devices.
Because nearly all firearms sales and transfers in California must be conducted by or through a licensed dealer, AB 2459 is also likely to be unconstitutional and lead to costly litigation for the state. A federal court has ruled that regulations that have the effect of banning all or nearly all firearm sales and transfers are unconstitutional. Illinois Ass’n of Firearms Retailers v. City of Chicago, 961 F. Supp. 2d 928 (N.D. Ill. 2014). Beyond the fiscal impact on firearm businesses, AB2459 raises substantial privacy concerns. Every person who enters a firearms dealer, or even simply walks near a firearms dealer, would be subject to video surveillance. And, for firearm dealers, requiring surveillance of non-public areas of the business is in-effect a nullification of their right to be free from warrantless searches.
It is critical that all gun owners in California work together to stop this egregious bill. After you have contacted the Public Safety Committee members, please make sure you forward this alert to your family, friends, fellow gun owners, Second Amendment supporters and sportsmen and urge them to do the same.
We have talked about this bill before. No matter what Sen. McCarty may be claiming, this isn’t about public safety. Just microstamping was about ending new handgun sales in this State, this is about ending all firearms sales. (Riddle me this used gun buyer: How are ya gonna make that legal transfer if there are no more gun dealers in the State?!?) And while this law would likely fail to pass Constitutional muster, many smaller dealers would still be driven out of business before the cases are finally decided. Gun owners in this State would be fools to sit by and let this bill pass without voicing their opposition. The best way to fight this law is to prevent it from becoming law in the first place. You can learn more about what you can do to keep it away from the Governor’s desk by clicking here.