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Katy Grimes

Biofuel bill morphs into gun control bill – this is how it’s done

Yesterday morning, Senate Bill 916 by Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, was a bill about mandating use of bio-derived lubricating oil. But by yesterday evening, biofuel is off the table and gun control is back on.

filtered waste vegetable oil

California’s obsession with the most extreme environmental issues, and belief that if a new “green” product sounds good, it must be good, means the bill probably would have passed through the Legislature with flying colors.

Yesterday, the bill was gutted and amended into a gun control bill. “Talk about pyrrhic victory…” Tom Tanton emailed to me. Tanton, a Director at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, wrote an op-ed about it in Fox and Hounds recently. Tanton warned, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

It turns out Tanton was right.

The new gun control bill, SB 916

The new bill language is clearly not done cooking. Anticipate more amendments, as this bill appears to be a placeholder.

“Existing law prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale by licensed firearm dealers in California of handguns that do not appear on the roster of handguns that have been determined not to be unsafe,” the bill says. “These firearms are considered ‘unsafe handguns.’”

“The purpose of this act is to clarify that manufacturers may make improvements to handguns currently on the roster, and to allow handguns that have fallen off of the roster for reasons other than failing retesting to be returned to the roster by a petition to the Attorney General.”

It’s all about what guns the Attorney General will allow.

From the bill:

A handgun model removed from the roster pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 32020 may be reinstated on the roster if all of the following are met:

(a) (1)  The manufacturer petitions the Attorney General for reinstatement of the handgun model.
(b) (2)  The manufacturer pays the Department of Justice for all of the costs related to the reinstatement testing of the handgun model, including the purchase price of the handguns, prior to reinstatement testing.
(c) (3)  The reinstatement testing of the handguns shall be in accordance with subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 32020.
(d) (4)  The three handgun samples shall be tested only once for reinstatement. If the sample fails it may not be retested.
(e) (5)  If the handgun model successfully passes testing for reinstatement, and if the manufacturer of the handgun is otherwise in compliance with Sections 31900 to 32110, inclusive, the Attorney General shall reinstate the handgun model on the roster maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 32015.
(f) (6)  The manufacturer shall provide the Attorney General with the complete testing history for the handgun model.
(g) (7)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 32020, the Attorney General may, at any time, further retest any handgun model that has been reinstated to the roster.

Existing law allows a handgun model that has been included in the Department of Justice gun roster to be retested, and allows the handgun model to be removed from the roster if it fails retesting. Existing law also allows a handgun model removed from the roster for failing retesting to be reinstated upon a petition to the Attorney General for reinstatement and successful retesting. These provisions were recently passed by the Legislature and signed into law.

This newly amended bill would allow a handgun model removed from the Department of Justice gun roster, to be reinstated to the roster upon a petition to the Attorney General for reinstatement and successful retesting. The bill would require that a handgun model that is reinstated to the roster only meet the requirements for listing as of the date the handgun model was originally submitted for testing.

We will follow this bill closely and watch amendments. Expect many bills between now and the end of the legislative session to be gutted and amended. This is how it’s done.


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