On Tuesday, Firearms Policy Coalition filed a letter of conditional support for California’s Assembly Bill 950, by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez. This bill would amend the law to allow a person subject to a gun violence restraining order or an individual otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm or ammunition to transfer the firearms or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer (FFL).

As noted in our letter, “Subsequent to this measure’s May 14 hearing in the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Justice Kagan delivered a rare unanimous Supreme Court decision in Henderson v. United States that calls into question California’s laws on the dis-possession of non-contraband personal property under a restraining order (including, but not limited to, “Gun Violence Restraining Orders”) or other prohibiting condition.”

As a result, Firearms Policy Coalition encourages several key amendments to California law, consistent with the ruling in Henderson, to allow prohibited persons or those subject to a restraining order to sell or transfer their firearms to:

  • A non-prohibited person who expects to maintain custody of them;
  • To a law-abiding person who wishes to buy them in accordance with federal and state laws;
  • To a licensed firearms dealer for safe-keeping during the period of prohibition;
  • To a licensed firearms dealer for subsequent sale;
  • To a secure trust;
  • To a nonprofit organization or museum;
  • And to other law-abiding persons (as defined in Penal Code Preliminary Provision 7) for all other lawful purposes.

As our letter further states, “Amending California’s laws as we suggest is not only good public policy (creating more pathways for prohibited persons to divest their possessory interest in firearms and ammunition), it will save California taxpayers the certain expense of litigation on the currently under-inclusive statutes.”