It must be nice to have the luxury of ignoring what’s written in a statute and not be penalized. And to completely fail at your job requirements yet still collect a paycheck.
When California lawmakers rammed the Gunpocalypse laws through the legislative process last summer, they had no clue what the logistics of any of their schemes would be. We smirk about the passage of Obamacare, when Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill.” But Gunpocalypse was even worse - it was more like, “We’ll pass this bullet point, back-of-the-napkin idea, and the DOJ will figure out what it all means in the future.”
That was nine months ago. “The future” has now arrived, yet the DOJ still hasn’t figured out what it means. Before Christmas, DOJ submitted proposed high-capacity magazine regulations, attempting to use an “emergency” provision to limit public input and scrutiny. But, WE were watching, YOU were watching, and DOJ withdrew the regulations, knowing they seriously overstepped their authority.
Then, as a New Year’s gift (and a final middle finger from Kamala Harris) to gun owners, DOJ filed proposed assault weapon/bullet button regulations December 30. Once again, the proposed regs were overbearing and exceeded DOJ’s authority, but, once again, FPC and its members were watching. Due to pressure from gun owners and their allies, Attorney General Becerra withdrew proposed regulations a month ago - but hasn’t issued new proposed regulations.
As of Friday, March 10, 2017, the Bureau of Firearms home page - the place one would presumably visit to determine how to comply with assault weapon registration - has the following notice:
The ability to register an Assault Weapon pursuant to Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880, is not yet available. Pursuant to AB 1135 and SB 880, Assault Weapon registration regulations must be effective before any registrations can take place. At this time, the regulations are still pending, however they should be effective in the very near future. Please continue to check the Bureau of Firearms website for updates.
All “assault weapons” are supposed to be registered by January 1, 2018. Nearly one quarter of the year has passed, and California gun owners still have no mechanism by which they can comply with the law, and no real expectation of when they might have the ability to comply.
This is all A-OK with the Department of Justice. They feel no consequences for the failure to compose regulations - but gun owners will be expected to comply with regulations that don’t yet exist.
As we’ve said before - and as the Bureau of Firearms website states - adopting regulations for the registration of assault weapons isn’t a matter of choice for the Department of Justice. The statutes say they must. And, as we’ve also warned, it’s very possible that DOJ will submit regulations under a “file and print” process, in which there is no public comment or review, and/or under the “emergency” regulation process, in which there is virtually no public comment or review.
The California DOJ is not used to being watched closely and having their plans scrutinized. Now they know WE are watching. They know YOU are watching. Their feet are being held to the fire, and they don’t like it one bit.
It will take years to fully roll back the damage statist legislators have done to the Second Amendment in California. While we’re working on that long-term goal, though, it’s vital that in the short-term lawmakers and regulators know we are watching closely and not allowing them to play games with our rights.
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