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Obama’s plan already the law in California, gun-rights advocates say

Barry Bauer, of Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno, says that under California law, private-party transfers of guns go through a dealer who has a federal firearms license. In addition, all purchasers of guns in the state are legally required to pass a computerized federal background check.
Barry Bauer, of Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno, says that under California law, private-party transfers of guns go through a dealer who has a federal firearms license. In addition, all purchasers of guns in the state are legally required to pass a computerized federal background check. Fresno Bee file

The “gun show loophole” that President Barack Obama addressed in his Tuesday remarks on firearm violence does not exist in California, according to gun-rights advocates who reacted to the speech.

And while the president also alluded to the danger of allowing violent persons and those with serious mental health issues to own guns, state law already prohibits such persons from purchasing firearms and the state Department of Justice uses an armed team to collect any weapons already in their possession.

In his speech outlining a series of proposals targeting mass shootings and gun violence, the president called for anyone “in the business” of selling firearms to get a license and conduct background checks of buyers.

Barry Bauer, of Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno, pointed out that under California law, private-party transfers of guns already go through a dealer who has a federal firearms license. In addition, all purchasers of guns in the state are legally required to pass a computerized federal background check.

“We’ve got all those things in place already,” he said.

Added Craig Deluz of the Firearms Policy Coalition, a pro-gun-rights blog: “Everything on his wish list is in California.” Deluz is also legislative advocate for the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, the state’s largest association of firearms retailers and manufacturers.

But Deluz added that he worries about how an executive action by the president would be implemented. “The president doesn’t respect the Second Amendment. Why would he respect any other part of the Constitution?”

In his address, the president also called for the addition of 200 additional Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to enforce gun laws on the books, something California does with its Armed and Prohibited Persons System, which is funded by fees that gun owners pay for background checks. At least two APPS teams continuously sweep the state in search of those disqualified from firearms ownership, including those convicted of domestic violence.

The president also focused attention Tuesday on mental illness and pointed out that two out of three gun deaths are suicides. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, California enumerates nine categories of mental health issues prohibiting gun ownership, including: inpatient treatment, threats of physical violence, conservatorship, and those placed in temporary custody by a mental health professional.

Jim Guy: 559-441-6339

Concealed weapons permits

  • The Fresno Police Department has issued 2,055 concealed weapons permits. That includes those that have expired, those possessed by people who have died, those not renewed and up-to-date permits.
  • Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said about 10,000 active permits are in effect for her department. In the past two years, about 30 have been revoked, most of them for alcohol-related offences. None have been revoked for weapons-related offenses.
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