Calif. governor candidate seeks to reform handgun carrying laws

By David Yates | Apr 29, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea party favorite and Republican gubernatorial candidate, recently amended legislation seeking to reform California's handgun carry license laws.

Introduced in January and amended Tuesday, Assembly Bill 1563 seeks to reform license requirements for carrying a handgun in the states.

Donnelly amended the bill following a February decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that held that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right to bear arms for self-defense outside of the home, according to a April 24 press release.

On Feb. 13 justices, on at 2-1 vote, affirmed the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for protection in public in the case Peruta v. San Diego.

"AB 1563 fixes California's handgun carry license system by implementing a fair, efficient, and effective framework that eliminates the burden on local law enforcement while still requiring background checks and that licensees be law-abiding people," Donnelly said.

"What we're doing is unwinding decades of unconstitutional laws and replacing them with a framework that respects our Second Amendment rights, bringing us in line with dozens of other states."

Under the existing system, sheriffs and municipal chiefs of police, who each have local rules that vary widely, are empowered to issue licenses to their residents. In many cases, these local agencies fail - or outright refuse - to follow existing state law, creating a maze of different regulations riddled with discretionary abuse and unequal treatment of applicants, the press release states.

AB 1563 will consolidate the license processes under the state's umbrella by establishing a single, objective standard under the jurisdiction of one issuing authority.

"Californians deserve the same treatment of their Second Amendment rights as they expect for the rest of the Bill of Rights," Donnelly said. "The great disparity in policy and process across hundreds of California licensing authorities begs for a uniform system that protects their civil rights, conforms to precedent, and furthers the state's narrowly-tailored interest in regulating the right to carry."

AB 1563 will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

In all, six Republicans have filed for governor, including Donnelly and businessman Neel Kashkari, seeking to challenge incumbent Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown.

The primary election is June 3.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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