The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 19, 2013

California gun owners warily eye rifle, shotgun database requirement


Anecdotal evidence has long-gun sales ranking “somewhere between average and exceptional” this month, according to Brandon Combs, president of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. That could reflect a seasonal phenomenon, Combs said, as people head to gun stores to pick out Christmas presents.

Still, Combs has heard skepticism of how the new purchase record requirements will play out. His organization is already mulling lawsuits on behalf of gun owners Combs said were mistakenly flagged by the state as ineligible to possess firearms.

“I think it’s not entirely unfounded, a fear of the state misusing the information,” Combs said.

Only people who pose a legitimate public-safety risk will have anything to worry about, said Steve Lindley, director of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms.

“If you do become prohibited, we are going to come confiscate your firearms,” Lindley said. “But only people who have done something in their life — committed a felony, committed a violent misdemeanor, they are a fugitive from justice or they have been deemed mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others. We need to take action and prevent those people from possessing firearms.”

That prohibited class represents a small sliver of California’s population of gun owners, Lindley said. Otherwise, gun owners can rest easy: His department has no plans to “go out and confiscate people’s firearms for no reason.”

“We still have our Second Amendment rights here in California,” he said.


©2013 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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