California is notorious for overregulation of just about everything prompting businesses and residents to leave the state. I personally love the Golden State for its beauty, diverse recreational opportunities, and weather. What is bothersome is the virtual “one-party” system in the state government stemming from a large portion of left-leaning voters.
For those of us who enjoy the hunting and shooting sports, the constant barrage of anti-gun bills is particularly annoying. Second Amendment rights have to be continuously defended against state legislators trying to garner liberal, anti-gun votes by introducing bills that try to punish and criminalize law-abiding gun owners in California.
We don’t need any further regulation in California because we have some great laws already on the books. I am in total agreement with our mandatory background checks and waiting periods in California – its just reasonable. I should add, this includes retail stores and gun shows. Gun shows – a fun source of recreation for gun enthusiasts – are often demonized by the media as some sort of “black market – underground den of miscreants” selling illegal weapons. Not so in California.
The other law I appreciate is the 10-round magazine limit for semi-automatic weapons. Many of my fellow shooters don’t like this law, and I’ll tell you why. First, they feel it’s an imposition on their 2nd Amendment rights; second – What if the government overthrows the people; third – What if there is a breakdown of laws in society and there are no police; fourth – I like to just blast away at the range – it’s fun; fifth – What if we have a zombie apocalypse; and I’m sure there are more.
Let me give you the main reason I see the 10-round mag limit as reasonable and sensible. School and public place mass shootings seem to have a high correlation with high-capacity magazines. The AR-15 style rifle is no more dangerous than any other semi-auto weapon with a high-capacity mag attached. The gun gets blamed based on looks – it looks similar to the military version.
Let me pause here and make an important distinction for the non-shooter. Automatic weapons and machine guns are the same thing in that one only has to pull the trigger once to expend all of the ammo, sending out a fusillade of bullets. These weapons are highly regulated by federal and state laws and very few folks in the shooting sports, aside from those who have been in the military, will ever shoot one. A semi-automatic weapon requires pulling the trigger every single time you want the weapon to fire. Those with an anti-gun agenda like to confuse the public between the two, such as referring to perfectly legal semi-automatic firearms as “weapons of war”, which is patently untrue. Now I’ll move on.
Those 30-round magazines allow a deranged, poorly skilled shooter to inflict massive damage. Why? Because when one can fire thirty rounds – even firing one at a time – without having to stop to reload they are going to hit some people, because the people don’t get a break to run away or take cover while the perpetrator is trying to reload. When a perpetrator has to stop to reload it provides an opportunity for victims to escape and armed citizens or police a chance to intervene and put the bad guy or gal down.
As an armed citizen I train for close range head shots to take down an urban shooter bent on mass murder at the “lull point” of a magazine change. Here’s why:
- Headshot because these nut cases are generally wearing body armor.
- Lull because it’s the best chance at close range with my concealed carry, 9mm semi-automatic pistol coming against someone with a superior firearm – this is the element of surprise coupled with accuracy.
- The fewer rounds expended to stop the threat reduces the chance of collateral damage by an errant round.
Now, please allow me to debunk the five arguments for the high-capacity magazine I listed earlier.
First, the 2nd Amendment guarantees our right to own and carry a firearm, but does not address capacity of the magazine, so I don’t see high-capacity mags as a specific right.
Second, the founders saw the dangers of government overreach, but I don’t see us on the brink of our troops turning against our citizens. But if we ever did plunge into a “Red Dawn” scenario – God help us – it would devolve into a guerrilla war where snipers become our go to tool of choice. Let’s be watchful, but not paranoid. Additionally, 10-rounds for a semi-auto seems reasonable and adequate for most mainstream shooting competition.
Third, the breakdown of civilization and elimination of the police doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, although we do need to pay attention. Our boys and girls in blue have a rough job, but I don’t imagine them abandoning their posts.
Forth, blast away to your hearts content at the range with your 10 round magazines. You’ll still have fun, you’ll improve your magazine change skills, which could save your life, and you’ll gain accuracy and save money on ammo.
Fifth, all the Zombies I’ve seen on TV and in the movies move pretty slow, so accuracy is more important than speed. Besides, you’ll need to save that precious ammo.
Yes, my friends, that is sarcasm! But least you think I’ve gone over to the anti-gunner dark side, let me suggest two things California could stop doing. One, outlawing suppressors, aka silencers, which by the way doesn’t “silence” the report. A suppressor does just that – suppresses, i.e., reduces, not eliminates the sound of the gun being fired. So, what is the value of suppressor? First it reduces the decibels, which is much appreciated by those of us wishing to save our hearing. Additionally, it would not scare game away so readily with the first shot for hunters.
The mystique of the hitman screwing on the silencer popularized in the movies and television has been exaggerated to the extreme. Besides, no assassin trying to quiet his or her pistol with subsonic ammo and a suppressor will bother to register it. Simply put I’m for the legal sale and registration of suppressors. Besides, anyone willing to pay the $200 federal tax, fill out the ATF form and wait six to nine months for approval is unlikely to be a bad guy.
The second useless law in California is the recording of the retail sale of ammo. It serves no purpose except to create an extra hoop, cost, and inconvenience for the buyer and seller, and has been no help in preventing and little help, if any, in solving crime. So much ammo is sold that even if you have a crime with Remington or Winchester or Federal 9mm brass left behind, you would first need a suspect and then it would only be circumstantial evidence. A person of nefarious intent has many ways to obtain ammo without buying it at the local sporting goods store.
This law was only promoted and enacted to discourage the shooting sports by misguided people. Another example of overregulation, targeting a sport because they don’t understand it.
The latest assault on shooting sports is a law coming into effect in California in July of 2024 levying an 11% excise tax on top of the federal excise tax for the purchase of a firearm or ammo. The hunter and target shooter are again being unfairly taxed for having a shooting sports hobby. What’s next? California taxing all sports equipment? Unlikely! The agenda is obvious.
The Governor and the slanted, misguided, legislature must STOP enacting laws that seek to persecute and make criminals out of honest citizens! It’s just common sense!
Welcome, I'm Gary Sorg!
Born and raised in a small central California farming town, Gary Sorg is no stranger to life’s endearing and challenging moments. He spent twenty years with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, earning a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master’s in correctional counseling along the way. Then he went on to a second career for the State of California Department of Justice at the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. When not writing, Gary enjoys traveling with his wife, Janie, Bible study with friends, riding his motorcycle, target shooting, and time with family. Gary and Janie live near Sacramento.