If it’s ultimately signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, AB 164  will close a loophole in California law that allows people who are barred from possessing guns in one state from purchasing or possessing guns here. It was sponsored by District Attorney Summer Stephan, who said she was motivated by a local criminal case.
She told us in a podcast interview last week  about a Colorado man who followed his victim to California, where he legally purchased a gun, even though a restraining order prohibited him from doing so in his home state.
According to the DA’s office, the man threatened violence against his ex and her family, and local police found a stockpile of firearms and ammunition in his residence. He pleaded guilty to two felonies — making a criminal threat and stalking — last year and was sentenced to 180 days in custody, with three years’ probation.
“It is such a priority that guns not be in the wrong hands,” Stephan said.
Written by Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes from Riverside, the bill passed the Legislature with overwhelming support.
When it comes to preventing potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms, San Diego has been a bellwether for the rest of the state on at least one occasion. City Attorney Mara Elliott has aggressively leaned on another California law allowing third parties to petition a court to remove an individual’s firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or others.
In 2018, Los Angeles issued 31 gun-violence restraining orders and San Francisco issued only one. San Diego issued 185.