‘Unsafe handguns’ now the target of Dems

by CalWatchdog Staff | April 3, 2013 9:12 am

April 3, 2013

By Katy Grimes

The many gun control bills being pushed through the Capitol are concerning. But many of them are also rather embarrassing. It has become evident that most of the legislators fixated on gun control have no idea what they are talking about.

Yesterday at an Assembly Public Safety hearing, Berkeley Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner said, “bullets are the very thing making guns deadly.” She has authored AB 48 which would require dealers selling ammunition to be licensed in California, and for federal and local officials to be notified when an someone purchases more than 3,000 bullets, and prohibits the sale of gun kits to convert conventional firearms into semi-automatic weapons.

AB 48 would also ban the manufacture, sale or import of any device that enables a gun to fire more than 10 rounds at one time.

Apparently guns are bad, but bullets are worse.

At the same hearing, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill he has authored which would no longer allow ‘unsafe handguns’ to be sold.

Dickinson’s bill, AB 169[1], would prohibit members of the general public from transferring any handgun that is not on the state’s roster of approved handgun[2], to anyone other than a family member. The bill would also apply to guns dropped from the approved handgun roster, which usually means the manufacturer no longer makes the gun, and is unwilling to pay to keep the gun on the roster.

AB 169 also removes the “private party transfer” exemption for handguns not on the roster, and prohibits owners of non-rostered handguns from selling them.

This bill would prevents gun owners from selling a legally-owned handgun in California, if the handgun is not listed on the Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale [3]unless the buyer is an exempt member of a law enforcement agency.

While “regular” citizens would be banned from purchasing non-Rostered handguns, law enforcement officers would be able to buy, own, and carry handguns the state has not deemed “safe”. No evidence suggests that law enforcement officers are better equipped than law-abiding gun owners to handle firearms that are not on the roster, or have failed safety testing.

AB 169 looks as if it supports the idea to further elevate law enforcement from the communities they serve by giving police officers special privileges. Gun experts argue there is no rational, legitimate basis for doing this.

Current California law allows handguns that are not on the approved roster to be sold or transferred to another individual, either on consignment or as a private party transfer, provided that the sale is completed through a licensed firearms retailer, where the purchaser is subjected to a background check.  “If enacted, AB 169 would leave gun owners who lawfully purchased a handgun that previously appeared on the State’s approved roster with no means to sell or transfer their handgun, if that firearm is no longer listed on the roster,”  the NRA explained.

‘Unsafe handguns’ loophole

According to Dickinson, AB 169[4] would close the ‘loopholes’ in current law that allows people who legally possess an ‘unsafe handgun’ to sell/transfer the weapon to people who cannot legally purchase the weapon through a licensed dealer.

“AB 169 will keep non-rostered, unsafe handguns out of the hands of people who don’t have a legitimate and lawful reason to own them. By limiting the guns available for sale we can further protect our families and our communities from gun violence,” said Dickinson.

The unsafe handgun roster

The California Department of Justice maintains a roster of handguns that are safe to operate under California law, Dickinson’s website [5]says. “These guns meet all statutory safety standards, and pass safety tests such as the drop test. Handguns not on the roster (i.e. non-rostered handguns), also known as unsafe handguns, are handguns most people cannot buy from a manufacturer through a licensed dealer.”

However, current law has exemptions for a number of specified parties such as law enforcement, curio and relic dealers, gunsmiths, and movie prop houses. The law also exempts private parties who may have acquired an ‘unsafe handgun’ from another exempt party from restrictions on owning and selling unsafe handguns.

Dickinson originally tried to prevent even law enforcement officials from making gun transfers in a similar bill last year, but that didn’t go over very well.

One ‘unsafe handgun’


A friend owns a handgun which was deemed ‘unsafe’ by California’s standards. It’s a Sig Sauer .380, a Colt Mustang clone. It’s small, lithe, lightweight and easy to use. However, when she first got it, it was not on the state’s DOJ roster. She couldn’t even legally purchase the ammunition for it in California.

The reason it was not on the DOJ roster is because state officials had not officially “tested” the .380 yet. Once they finally got around to testing it, the gun made it onto the DOJ roster. However, they would not allow the all-black model .380 Sig Sauer onto the roster because the all-black color made it look more menacing.

This is the rationale behind California’s ‘unsafe handgun’ theory.

Back to the bill…

“AB 169 will keep non-rostered, unsafe handguns out of the hands of people who don’t have a legitimate and lawful reason to own them,” said Dickinson. “By limiting the guns available for sale we can further protect our families and our communities from gun violence.”

“AB 169 also closes another loophole that allows anyone to purchase an unsafe handgun if that handgun was modified to be a single shot weapon before the buyer took delivery from a licensed dealer. This single shot modification is easily undone, and this loophole provides an easy way for anyone to circumvent the law,” Dickinson explained at the hearing.

Call AND e-mail members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee today and remind them that these bills will NOT deter violent criminals intent on committing crimes and will unconstitutionally restrict the ability of law-abiding Californians to purchase, transfer and use firearms and ammunition on an unprecedented scale.  Let them know that passage of these bill will result in additional unnecessary expenses for the state, continue to drive legitimate business owners out of California and force the taxpayers to pick up the tab for costly litigation against the state!

  1. AB 169: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0151-0200/ab_169_bill_20130124_introduced.html
  2. state’s roster of approved handgun: http://certguns.doj.ca.gov
  3. Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale : http://certguns.doj.ca.gov
  4. AB 169: http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_169&sess=CUR&house=B&author=dickinson
  5. Dickinson’s website : http://www.asmdc.org/members/a07/gun-violence-prevention/dickinson-introduces-gun-violence-prevention-bill-package
  6. [Image]: http://www.calwatchdog.com/2013/04/03/unsafe-hanguns-now-the-target-of-dems/images-28/

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2013/04/03/unsafe-hanguns-now-the-target-of-dems/