SACRAMENTO, CA (May 18, 2017) — In response to numerous legal demands, including one sent today by attorney Jason Davis, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has provided Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) with a copy of previously-secret Department of Justice (DOJ) “assault weapons” regulations. FPC has published the regulations at BulletButtonBan.com, a Web site it established in 2016 for tracking the new California assault weapon laws and regulations.
“FPC’s Regulatory Watch program has once again proved its value in ensuring that the State of California does not advance its gun control agenda behind closed doors,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “Our staff and attorneys are already reviewing these regulations for legal violations.”
Until OAL provided the regulations to FPC today, neither agency permitted them to be viewed by FPC, its policy staff members, and its attorneys, effectively keeping them from public scrutiny and evaluation. In the process of denying access to these public records, FPC believes that both agencies violated the California Constitution and Public Records Act.
“Once again, the DOJ is trying to conduct the people’s business outside of the light of public scrutiny,” said Craig DeLuz, FPC’s California lobbyist and spokesperson. “They are trying to ram through regulations that will affect millions of people without allowing anyone to see them, let alone accept personal and professional comments to ensure they are fair and conform with the statutes.”
Last December, the DOJ submitted its first attempt at “assault weapons” regulations under the OAL’s “File & Print” process, which means that the DOJ believed the regulations were not subject to public notice or comment. However, thousands of FPC members and Second Amendment supporters sent letters opposing the secret process through FPC’s grassroots tools and, without further comment, the DOJ withdrew the regulations near the end of OAL review period. A quarter of a year later, the DOJ has now re-submitted regulations under the same “File & Print” process.
“At first glance, the DOJ’s latest package of ‘assault weapons’ regulations are as awful as their first attempt—it’s no wonder they wanted to hide them. The DOJ’s actions to keep the regulations secret were as undemocratic as they are unlawful,” concluded DeLuz.