In the last few months, anti-gun politicians around the country have used questionable methods to advance their unconstitutional agenda and seem to have the attitude that no matter which edicts they issue, law-abiding gun owners will simply roll over and comply.
First California lawmakers ignored normal procedure and utilized back-room gut-and-amend tactics that took the “Gunpocalypse” slate of gun control measures to the Governor’s desk in record time. (See FPC’s “Making of Gunpocalypse” video for a detailed look at how shady this entire episode was.)
Then Massachusetts AG Maura Healey unilaterally reinterpreted the state’s assault weapons law, which resulted in many semi-automatic weapons becoming illegal literally overnight.
Reports from both states show that residents have had enough of the government’s “We’ll decide what you can have and when you can have it” attitude and are now saying, “We Will Not Comply!”
And why should they comply?
We already know that criminals won’t be participating in obeying these new laws. But what if gun owners, having been beaten down by additional restrictions on their civil rights year after year, decide they’re done complying with new gun restrictions? Firearms Policy Coalition president Brandon Combs believes that’s exactly what will happen. In a press release replying to California Governor Brown’s Gunpocalypse bill signing, he said:
“We expect mass non-compliance with these laws and encourage good, peaceful Californians to carefully consider the risks of voluntarily identifying their firearms, magazines, and ammunition to law enforcement officials, especially the California Department of Justice.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Californians refused to comply with gun laws. Some cities banned high-capacity magazines a few years ago and asked gun owners to voluntarily turn the magazines in and, surprise, surprise, few have done so. People are less likely to follow laws they don’t believe are just, according to UCLA professor Adam Winkler:
“Legal theorists argue that people are more likely to comply with laws they view as morally or socially just. To a person whose gun came standard with one of these [high capacity] magazines and who has owned it for years without incident, the idea that these devices are inherently dangerous does not resonate.”
In addition to feeling that these laws aren’t morally or socially just, gun owners feel ostracized and dehumanized by the government, making it even less likely that they’ll comply. Anti-gun politicians have become so secure in their ability to regulate behavior that they view those who stand up to them as objects, or pieces of trash whose views don’t matter. During hearings in the California legislature, gun rights lobbyists were brutally verbally attacked and blamed for the Orlando shootings.
Then, those same politicians break the laws they created and seek (and receive) special treatment or have a blind eye turned to their actions. People are now saying: Enough! At one range in Southern California, a gun owner said, “They want me to stop using my bullet button? Sure! I’ll do that - and use it as it was originally intended. And not register it. They can kiss my ***!”
Gun owners have grudgingly gone along with whatever silly, ineffective schemes the politicians have thought up over the last 30 years to regulate firearms, engaging in a game of “Mother May I” every time they want to go to the range. This year, lawmakers have finally gone too far, and all indications are that gun owners are done complying. Why should they?