SACRAMENTO, CA (October 14, 2017) — Moments ago, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he signed Assembly Bill 424 (AB 424), a bill that amends the state’s Gun-Free School Zone Act (GFSZA) and eliminates the ability of local school districts to set policies that allow law-abiding Californians with a carry license issued by a sheriff or police chief to carry a handgun for self-defense on school grounds.
"Assembly Bill 424 shows how bipolar the California Legislature is when it comes to gun issues,” explained Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “In one case they say that local control is the only way to keep people safe, and here they kill off what little local control was left on this issue. Their flip-flop on this just shows how politically motivated the State of California is when it comes to attacking the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
“Governor Brown's signing of AB 424 will not improve public safety, but it does further support the basis of our lawsuit that challenges special handgun carry privileges for retired government employees,” said Combs. “The Legislature and Governor Brown have made sure that no good people with guns will be close enough to stop an evil or insane person in the event of a serious attack.”
“Apparently their dangerous definition of ‘equality’ is that everyone except government employees should be equally unsafe.”
FPC and other civil rights groups have backed a lawsuit, currently at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging special exemptions to the GFSZA for retired government employees—some of whom were never even required to carry a gun during the course of their employment—as unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Gallinger, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra is fully briefed and awaiting oral arguments. The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C. based think tank, filed a brief supporting their challenge. Key filings are available at firearmspolicy.org/gallinger_v_becerra.
AB 424 was authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and supported by anti-gun rights organizations that include Americans Against Gun Violence; Americans for Safe Access; California Federation of Teachers; California Public Health Association - North; California State PTA; California Teachers Association; City of West Hollywood; Equality California; Faculty Association of California Community Colleges; Moms Demand Action; National Association of Social Workers; San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility; and the San Francisco Unified School District.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.