Rationing Freedom

Rationing Freedom

“This bill would restrict someone’s ability to acquire more than one firearm during any 30 day period of time… there is nothing controversial about this…” So spoke California State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cannada Flintridge) during an introduction of his bill SB-497 which would restrict the ability of anyone to acquire more than one firearm during any 30 day time frame.

Private Party transfers, Long guns… it does not matter.  If it goes bang, you can only acquire one every 30 days.

This creates some logistical issues with certain transfers.

What happens when someone wants to transfer his collection?  What happens when someone receives an estate inheritance?  Or an attorney takes ownership of his clients guns as a means for a fee waiver?

It does have some exemptions… of course.

Law Enforcement is exempt.  (Law Enforcement that is “active”… not law enforcement that is retired).  This creates some interesting complications that the Peace Officers Union is going to have to deal with… specifically regarding their carve outs for SB 880 (assault weapons) since they now must argue that a rational basis exists for that carve out… but not for this one.

It also interestingly exempts those with valid hunting licensees, as well as those that win guns at charity events.

Many charity events…. especially hunting related charity events, use firearms (typically, though not exclusively rifles) as a means of generating funds.  It is not unheard of for a participant to win two or three rifles and shotguns during a fundraising event.  If they were not exempted from this new proposed legislation, the process of raffling off guns would become so commercially unreasonable, that it just wouldn’t be done… and as a result the amount of money generated would suffer.

So this is all fine and good, but what is the point?

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Senator Portantino has a dubious history of generating one dimensional legislation that ultimately comes back to bite him and his group of collectivists.  He was the author of California’s Open Carry Restrictive bill.  Yes… that one.  Up until his legislation, the argument could be made that you had the right to carry a firearm outside your home, (it just needed to be unloaded).  The CCW was nothing more than a “time, place and manner” restriction.  Once his law went into effect, the only way to carry a firearm outside your home (legally) was through the use of a CCW.  Portantino may have inadvertently set the ground work necessary for a legal challenge via Peruta to be heard by the Supremes.  That could result in a recognized right to bear arms outside your home nationwide.

If this ultimately happens, we can all thank Senator Portantino for setting the case in controversy in place.  (I’m sure he is thrilled about that!)

Seriously though.. what is the benefit of this new proposed legislation?  What crimes will it be able to prevent?  What benefits to society do we achieve by its adoption?  The answer is of course… none.

But there is a nefarious side that might quite possibly benefit the anti’s:

Less places to buy guns.

To understand this, you must also take it in conjunction with another piece of proposed legislation SB-464

This little gem was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and it has one singular purpose in mind… putting gun stores out of business.

There are many people that have FFL’s in California.  Not all though are on the Centralized Firearms Dealer list.  This is the list that the State has created that you must be on to perform a legal transfer of a firearm in California.  By being on the list, gun stores can log in and complete a DROS or Dealer Record of Sale.

SB-464 would require that all FFL’s (not just the ones on the Centralized Dealer List) enhance their security features to a commercially unreasonable level.  Places like Artemis that provide DROS services essentially at cost as a benefit to members would simply have to cease performing transfers.

Small mom and pop gun stores would have to shut their doors.

You see, the costs associated with the level of protection that the bill envisions can easily reach the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Large stores such as Bass Pro with multiple streams of revenue may well be able to absorb the costs.  Small stores will have to rely on passing on the additional costs related to security enhancements into their price of their products.

But wait… SB-497 will limit the sale of one gun to a customer each month.  Basically, the very best customer a gun store could hope for has a maximum buying power of twelve guns per year.

They simply could not possibly push through the costs of SB-464 onto their customer base.

The result is shutting down.  (Or at least shutting down the firearms transfer component of the business.)

So… all this has been a study of the practical… but what about the underlying philosophy?

The Second Amendment recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms.  To those that are entrenched in power, this has historically bothered them…. but so have other parts of the Bill of Rights.

The Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment.  They have been thorns in the side of government from the beginning of our experiment in popular democracy.

What if we were to ration them as they seek to ration the Second?

You are only entitled to the use of your Fourth Amendment right against Search and Seizure once during a 30 day period of time.  You can only go to a church of your choosing once during a 30 day period of time… because after all, no one really needs to go to church more than that.  No one needs to be secure in their effects and their privacy more than one time a month.

We would be livid, if an elected representative even contemplated such laws out loud, much less sponsored legislation to enact them.

Yet when it comes to protection of our most basic civil right codified in the Second Amendment, we throw up are hands and shake our heads.  “This is California”.


When a tyrant attempts to expand power beyond their enumeration, they must be met with swift reprisal.  The mere act violates the compact of the governed and they become illegitimate.

Genteel acceptance is the providence for slaves.  We must never willingly drape ourselves with chains.

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