SACRAMENTO, CA (August 22, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is calling on the California Legislature to provide a fix to AB 103, a recently signed bill that would make gun owners guilty of a crime, simply for being the subject of an “outstanding warrant.”
“We at FPC made every effort to notify the Legislature so that the constitutional infirmities could have been remedied before AB 103 was passed and signed into law.” noted Craig DeLuz, spokesman for FPC. “But political posturing by legislators ultimately prevailed over their sworn duty to safeguard the civil rights of their constituents.”
California law prohibits persons convicted of a felony from possessing firearms for life. It also prohibits persons convicted of certain misdemeanors from possessing firearms for a period of ten years. California law likewise requires that, when convicted, courts must provide a notice informing the defendant of the firearms prohibition along with information to facilitate the transfer of any firearms the defendant owns.
AB 103, a budget trailer bill that normally wouldn’t include major new policy expanded the statutes’ firearms automatic prohibitions to now cover persons who have an “outstanding warrant” for their arrest for a felony or specified misdemeanors, without regard to whether the person even knows they are the subject of a warrant, let alone been found guilty of any crime.
“Under AB 103, a person becomes prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm as soon as the warrant is issued for one of the specified crimes without regard to whether they even know that a warrant was issued or whether they are ever convicted of the underlying crime”, DeLuz points out. “In essence, the law now guarantees that anyone who possesses or owns a firearm and becomes the subject of an arrest warrant for one of the specified crimes will automatically be guilty of the additional, new crime of possession. This is blatantly unconstitutional.”
DeLuz also notes, “As a budget trailer bill, AB 103 bypassed all the usual policy committees where constitutional issues like this would normally be caught and addressed. This is what happens when the legislature subverts their own rules and procedures.”
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.