On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the Senate Public Safety Committee will hear Senate Bill 678 (Hill, D-San Mateo), a measure that was recently amended from one that created a new crime and “user-authorized” firearm technology mandate into a “smart gun” study bill.
Firearms Policy Coalition has strongly opposed SB 678 since it was introduced; those interested in the bill’s evolution can read or download the SB 678 background documents and FPC’s letters of opposition here.
According to the California Legislature’s website for the bill, SB 678 (as amended) would:
…direct the Department of Justice to, among other things, assess market conditions and the barriers to the market for user-authorized firearms in the state, investigate methods to increase the availability and use of user-authorized firearms in the state, and make recommendations on manufacturer performance and reliability standards and how those standards should be tested for user-authorized firearms. The bill would require the department to convene a working group of specified representatives to offer recommendations for the requirements described above. The bill would require the department to report its findings to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2017.
SB 678 is supported (and possibly sponsored) by Allied Biometrix of Laguna Beach, Calif., and the New Jersey Innovation Institute, “an New Jersey Institute of Technology corporation.” In his letter of support for SB 678, Allied CEO Alan Boinus told Senator Hill that “Allied Biometrix has an unconverted option to license user authorized gun technology being developed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).”
In an April 22 letter to Senate Public Safety Committee Chairman Loni Hancock, FPC President Brandon Combs explained, “SB 678 would require the California Department of Justice to provide taxpayer-funded market research to a minute group of industry insiders. As such, SB 678 is nothing short of a corporate handout for an exceedingly small number of patent-holders and manufacturers of products that Californians do not want or need.”
Firearms Policy Coalition remains strongly opposed to SB 678 and any bill that would use taxpayer dollars to fund an anti-gun state Attorney General’s report on so-called “smart gun” technology. Gun owners across the United States have been rightfully concerned and skeptical of such legislation, particularly in light of the “microstamping” mandate issued by A.G. Kamala Harris in 2013 that effectively banned new handguns from being added to the state Department of Justice “handgun roster.”