All About Guns Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" California

California: San Francisco Supervisors Considering Firearm Tax – The NRA-ILA

Today, the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco will consider whether to adopt File #230305, a resolution in support of Assembly Bill 28, which states the Legislature’s intent to impose a tax on firearms and ammunition. NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are invited to oppose File #230305 by submitting comments via email or by participating in the meeting, which is available in person and by calling in. Click here for the agenda and to view details for participating.

It is unjust to saddle law-abiding gun owners with punitive taxes. Such policies will not hinder the criminal misuse of firearms, but instead make it more expensive for law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutionally protected rights or engage in lawful firearm related activities.

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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things… In San Francisco from The NRA-ILA

Most Americans understand that our country has had a problem with a surge in crime over the last couple of years. In response, there has been a surge in gun purchases, and millions of law-abiding citizens have become first-time gun owners, as they understand that one of the most effective tools to better ensure their safety, and the safety of their loved ones, is a firearm.

Another way to better ensure the safety of American citizens is with an effective criminal justice system. It’s not a complicated concept, and one that can be understood by elementary school children.

Sadly, there are far too many politicians that have decided this concept is, somehow, outdated, and needs to be “reformed.” The ill-conceived “defund the police” movement, naïve calls for eliminating cash bail that allows extremely violent predators to walk our streets even after they have been caught and charged with crimes, and the numerous George Soros-funded DAs that seem uninterested in doing their job of prosecuting violent criminals have all directly contributed to an increase in crime across the country.

Which brings us to San Francisco.

The City by the Bay was once a beautiful, relatively safe destination. Many accounts from long-time residents and recent visitors, however, indicate the city is now plagued with rampant homelessness, filth (often of the kind one does not discuss in polite company) in the streets, and dramatic increases in crime.

Unfortunately, the city’s government has spent more time attempting to score political points by implementing the entire lexicon of progressive crime “reform” policies rather than focusing on keeping their residents safe.

Remember, this is a city whose Board of Supervisors declared NRA a “terrorist organization” in 2019, when such outrageously malicious and blatantly false messaging was being promoted by anti-gun extremists. The mayor was forced to back down on the Board’s “declaration” when the city faced an NRA lawsuit.

In 2022, voters recalled San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D)—a radical “progressive” who was backed by anti-gun billionaire George Soros, and ran on a platform of reduced incarceration, elimination of cash bail, and refusal to allow his office to assist federal authorities with capturing people who had entered our country illegally.

The successful signature drive to put Boudin’s recall on the ballot was spearheaded by two Democrats, and the vote to oust him saw a greater turnout than his original election, so perhaps there are signs of sanity emerging from the left coast’s most prominent bastion of liberal extremism.

Still, the sanity cannot come soon enough, as recent examples of the crime problem in San Francisco highlight the notion that there is still a long way to go.

Recently, it was reported that CNN reporters had their car broken into and items stolen, in San Francisco. And while theft is bad enough, the crew was apparently working on a story “about voter discontent with the city’s rampant street crime,” making the crime fairly ironic. That’s just an observation, not an attempt at making humor out of the situation, as it gets even worse. Kyung Lah, a CNN senior national correspondent that was part of the reporting team, tweeted about the experience, stating, “Got Robbed. Again.”

Since it had happened to her before, you would think she would have taken precautions. Turns out, she did, as her tweet also mentioned, “We had security to watch our rental car + our crew car.” Yes, things are so bad in San Francisco that you can even go the extra mile of hiring private security to protect your belongings, and you can still become a victim of theft.

Snehal Antani, who describes himself as “an entrepreneur, technologist, and investor,” also recently tweeted about a car break-in experienced by work colleagues who were in San Francisco from out of town (perhaps from another country). Antani, CEO of the San Francisco-based cybersecurity company, posted, “A teammate visiting San Francisco for an offsite called me frantically last night. After dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf they came back to a smashed car window and 2 stolen backpacks. $10K in gear lost, passports gone, etc. #San Francisco.”

Responses to the tweet contained what one might expect from random people on Twitter; some were sympathetic, others blamed the victims for not being more aware of the potential for having a car broken into, and plenty of people implied these crime victims were “snowflakes” after Antani suggested they might be “scarred forever” after being victimized.

But the reason we mention Antani’s tweet is because of one particular responder, as reported by Red State. A gentleman named John Hamasaki tweeted, “Interesting. Would getting your car window broken and some stuff stolen leave you ‘scarred forever’? Is this what the suburbs do to you? Shelter you from basic city life experiences so that when they happen you are broken to the core?”

Now, Hamasaki has no idea if the crime victims were actually from “the suburbs,” but besides that presumption and his condescension, there is probably no better example of the state of crime in American cities than his assumption that being a crime victim should be thought of as part of “basic city life experiences….”

And who is John Hamasaki? He’s a former San Francisco police commissioner and a failed candidate for San Francisco DA, having lost the 2022 special election to replace the recalled Chesa Boudin. He is, in other words, one of the reasons crime in San Francisco has become such a problem. When a former police commissioner opines that being a victim of crime is merely a part of “basic city life experiences,” it is easy to see how crime can get out of hand.

Hamasaki even seems to humble brag about his own crime victimization. In an interview with SFGate, he noted, “I’ve been a victim of a host of crimes in San Francisco; I’ve had my windows broken four times.” So, since he is often a crime victim, he thinks others shouldn’t make such a big deal out of it when they are victims?

Thankfully, there is that “former” tag when referring to his stint as police commissioner, and he also managed to lose the race to become the city’s district attorney.

Again, perhaps there are signs that sanity is taking grip in San Francisco. But, given the city’s recent “solutions” to its crime problem, perhaps not.

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New Poll: Majority of California Dems, Independents Worry About Being Victims of Gun Violence by DANTE GRAVES

Sixty-three percent of California voters said they worry that gun violence will affect them or someone close to them according to results released from a survey by UC Berkeley and the LA Times in the wake of high-profile shootings in the state. Another 30% claimed to be “very concerned,” as well.

The survey also revealed a disproportional concern among women, city residents and people of color in the state in terms of the fear of gun violence.

Democrats ranked the highest in fear, with 78% expressing concern compared to 61% of unaffiliated independent voters and 36% of Republicans.

Tense political polarization on the 2A “is evident everywhere in this poll,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies.

Poll results. (Photo: David Lauter/LA Times)

“What was most striking to me had to do with the fears of gun violence affecting their own personal lives. I wouldn’t have expected there to be a huge partisan divide on that,” DiCamillo said. “But the perception is very different. Republicans are not expressing nearly as much concern about it as Democrats. And that really ties into their views on guns more generally.”

White, male and rural voters were less likely to report a fear of being personally affected by gun violence than black, Asian, Latino and female voters who lived in urban and suburban areas, the poll reported.

Vice president of policy and programs at Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Christian Heyne, referred to the results as “jarring.”

“I don’t think there are people in other industrialized countries throughout the world that would have a similar percentage of fear by population. And I think that’s because we stand uniquely in a position where gun violence is a reality, that our laws and access to weapons mean that no community can feel safe from gun violence,” said Heyne.

Forty-Five percent of those surveyed said stricter gun control laws would help a great deal in preventing mass shootings, and 18% said they would help some, while 34% said they would not help much making the partisan divide evident.

Eighty-Eight percent of registered Democrats said stricter laws would be somewhat or strongly effective, it dropped to 61% among non-party voters and dove to 20% for registered Republicans. Among the Republicans surveyed, 78% said stricter laws would not be very effective.

Fifty-eight percent said that creating more mental health services and expanding existing ones would help a great deal to reduce mass shootings, compared with 10% who said it would not help much. The partisan divide in this category was much smaller than on gun regulation.

The poll also revealed a widespread lack of information on whether or not the state’s so-called red-flag law is effective. Forty-one percent of voters reported believing the law was not being used enough, as opposed to just 6% who said it was being used too much. But 47% said they didn’t know enough about it to have an opinion.

Tighter rules on firearm possession was favored by 60% of voters surveyed compared to 34% who believe preserving the right to bear arms was more important when asked if it was better to impose restrictions on gun ownership or to protect 2nd Amendment rights

Eighty-six percent of Democrats said limiting gun ownership is more important than protecting gun rights. 57% of unaffiliated voters agreed as well, compared with 12% of Republicans surveyed.

The report follows a deadly stream of gun violence in the state including the back-to-back mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. These fatal shootings renewed calls among Democrats for greater restrictions on who can legally possess a firearm in California and initiated several new pieces of gun-control legislation.

One of the bills would ban gun giveaways, raffles, and lotteries. Others impose an excise tax on firearms and ammunition and a ban on body armor.

Firearm homicide and suicide rates per the CDC. Black males between the ages of 10 and 24 suffered the most in 2020. According to the report, they were 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to die from gun homicides. Put another way, young black males make up two percent of the U.S. population but accounted for nearly 38 percent of all gun homicides in 2020, as a Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence analysis explained.

Second amendment activists in California believe the sweeping SCOTUS ruling against restrictive gun laws will stop these efforts. Currently, courts all over California are trying to figure out how to apply the Bruen decision to current and future laws.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, wasn’t too surprised by the numbers in the poll that highlighted the partisan divide over firearms.

“But the reality is it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about imposing more gun control or anything. We have the 2nd Amendment. It is clearly defined,” Paredes said.

Paredes further explained that the window for regulation is closing on their efforts.

“There’s no more hardcore gun control stuff that [Democrats] can do, because they’re already doing it all. And they are sad because they know that a lot of those laws are going to go away very, very soon.”

The Berkeley IGS poll surveyed 7,512 California registered voters online in English and Spanish from Feb. 14 to 20. The results are estimated to have a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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San Francisco Residents Seeking Concealed-Carry Permits Endure Long Waits, Fear Scorn Applications have risen since Supreme Court ruling on gun rights

Private investigator Andrew Solow is waiting on a permit for which he applied seven months ago. AMY OSBORNE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

SAN FRANCISCO—A San Francisco electrician hides his gun case in a backpack and his ammunition in a toolbox when he loads up his van for a day at the shooting range some 20 miles outside the city.

Though he shares many of the liberal values of his neighbors—“I am an equality-loving pronoun-checking, hippie, San Francisco guy”—he conceals his status as a gun owner, worried that they would ostracize him if they knew.

The 42-year-old is one of 285 residents seeking a permit to carry concealed weapons in public in a city that has long had some of the tightest firearm restrictions in the country.

The San Franciscans who want to carry guns include software engineers, accountants, middle managers and firearms instructors. They fall along the entire political spectrum, but many have at least one thing in common: They don’t want to be identified because they are worried about judgment from their neighbors or employers.

Private investigator Andrew Solow displays his guns.PHOTO: AMY OSBORNE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Their names are discoverable under public records law with some exceptions, according to legal experts.

Cities such as San Francisco that routinely denied such permits have received a flood of applications since the Supreme Court ruled for the first time last summer that the Second Amendment protects Americans’ right to carry guns outside the home for self-defense. In the past, authorities here said they received fewer than 20 applications a year.

Democratic leaders in states such as New York and California have sought to pass measures to blunt the effects of the ruling by imposing more thorough background investigations or training requirements for those seeking to carry concealed weapons in public. But a judge put most of the New York law on hold in October, and California’s failed to pass the state legislature.

That has left municipalities unaccustomed to issuing permits scrambling to come up with their own rules. In San Francisco, applicants must take a firearms training course and undergo a psychological exam, an extremely high bar for a U.S. city.

Most cities in California have begun issuing permits, but so far, the sheriff’s office and the police department in San Francisco have collectively approved just one permit since the Supreme Court ruling last June.

The slow pace has led to complaints from gun owners.

Andrew Solow, a 68-year-old private investigator, applied for a permit seven months ago to protect himself when he ventures into dangerous neighborhoods. He is still waiting for approval.

“That’s an obscenely long amount of time—it’s ludicrous,” he said. “I’m a licensed investigator.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Solow said he walks with a 66-inch wooden staff for self-defense.

A San Francisco police spokeswoman said the department “has been carefully undertaking great and reasonable efforts to expeditiously administrate a legal procedure” to grant applications.

Andrew Solow carries a stick for protection until he can carry a concealed gun.PHOTO: AMY OSBORNE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“We have to be very thorough in our vetting process,” said Tara Moriarty, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.

San Francisco has a long history of strict firearms laws. The city’s last gun store and gun club both closed in 2015. As most states—and even many cities in California—began loosening restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in the past decade, the city remained an island. The police department said that before the Supreme Court ruling it issued just two permits for concealed weapons.

Catherine Stefani, a San Francisco supervisor, said she is drafting legislation to toughen standards for carrying firearms in public and to set out a list of sensitive places where guns will be restricted. Ms. Stefani criticized the Supreme Court decision as misguided and said it would “unleash more guns on our streets.”

Several permit seekers say they want to carry a firearm with them for self-defense.

The city has long had a high property crime rate, but while homicides spiked during the pandemic, the murder rate here is lower than many other large cities. The city’s homicide rate in 2021 climbed to 6.4 per 100,000 residents from 5.4 a year earlier; the national homicide rate in 2021 was 6.9 per 100,000, according to city and federal crime data.

Supervisor Catherine Stefani said she is drafting legislation to toughen standards for carrying firearms in public.PHOTO: GABRIELLE LURIE/SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/GETTY IMAGES

A 30-year-old manager at a distribution company said he sought a permit because of crime in his southeast San Francisco neighborhood and because of the highly publicized attacks against Asian residents during the pandemic.

“A lot of my friends who never had an interest in firearms before started stockpiling for the same reasons: lack of police response and the rise of Asian hate,” said the man who is Asian-American.

The 42-year-old electrician, a San Francisco native, said he wanted to carry a gun because he felt the city had become more dangerous since he was a child, when he says he would skateboard in the middle of the night.

“I’m not looking to help the cops. I’m not looking to be a tactical guru,” he said. “My sole position at this point is to be able to, as best as I can, protect myself and my family from someone that would have the wherewithal to do us harm.”

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California: Committee Considering Banning Body Armor & Increasing Firearm Marking Violation Penalties

Assembly Bill 92 and Assembly Bill 301 ban citizens from delivering or taking possession of body armor, with exceptions for those in “eligible professions.” Existing federal and California state laws already prohibit violent felons from possessing body armor, with limited exceptions for employment. Law-abiding citizens own body armor for the same legitimate purposes as professional users: to protect themselves from violent criminals and for increased safety during various forms of firearm training.

Access to body armor, which is freely available from all over the world due to advances in materials science, is essential for Americans to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-defense. Bans only leave law-abiding citizens defenseless to criminals, who by definition, ignore the law.

Assembly Bill 97 increases penalties for violating California’s law on serializing home-built firearms and buying, disposing, possessing, etc., any firearm with the manufacturer name, model designation, or serial number altered or obliterated, from misdemeanors to felonies. The existing California law already goes above and beyond federal law in regulating markings on firearms. These penalties are for mere possession, which could cause otherwise law-abiding citizens, without any criminal intent, to permanently lose their Second Amendment rights.

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Handguns for sale at the WEX Gunworks store on Jan. 31, 2023, in Delray Beach, Fla. 
Handguns for sale at the WEX Gunworks store on Jan. 31, 2023, in Delray Beach, Fla.

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In the coming years, it is likely you will encounter people in San Francisco carrying concealed weapons.

A Supreme Court ruling from last year forced localities to soften permitting rules. In short, the court ruled that “may issue” laws — in which officials have broad discretion to deny a person seeking a concealed weapon permit — violate the Second Amendment. Areas with “may issue” laws must now transition to “shall issue” laws, in which the permit-seeker is entitled to a permit unless they are deemed unfit to carry a weapon.

As a result, San Francisco has begun the process of granting new licenses. Previously in the city, an individual had to demonstrate “good cause” for obtaining a permit, such as working in areas with high rates of violent crime. The city seldom found that individuals met the “good cause” standard, which resulted in very few concealed carry permits in San Francisco.

That “good cause” standard has now been replaced by a more lax interim policy with only four requirements. First, the individual — whether a San Francisco resident or a resident of another county who works in San Francisco — must legally own the firearm they seek to carry. From there, if the individual can complete a firearms safety course, as well as pass both a psychological test and a background check, they will be granted a permit.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office told SFGATE that the psychological exam consists of a multiple choice test and an interview conducted by Law Enforcement Psychological Services (LEPS), a screening service the city uses for police and other law enforcement officers. LEPS did not immediately respond to an SFGATE request for a copy of the multiple choice test.

For the background check, the sheriff’s office will not only conduct the standard California Department of Justice background check used for firearm purchases, but, according to the new policy, will also review “materials such as citations, arrests, convictions, civil lawsuits, employment discharges, military discharges, license denials, license revocations, other actions indicating a possible propensity for violence or moral turpitude, drug and/or alcohol abuse, carelessness with weapons, and/or dishonesty to determine whether the applicant is a law abiding, responsible citizen.”

Unless something comes up in that background check that calls into question “whether the applicant is a law abiding, responsible citizen,” the city must issue the permit. San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto told KGO that the city is currently reviewing 72 permit applications, and expects between 100 and 200 over the next year.

Lawmakers at both the city and state level are seeking restrictions on where individuals with permits can carry concealed firearms. At the state level, Gov. Gavin Newsom has thrown his support behind legislation that would raise the minimum age for acquiring a permit from 18 to 21 and add new training and storage requirements.

Of course, any of those restrictions could be struck down by the courts as well. On age requirements, the 9th Circuit of Appeals has already invalidated a previous California requirement that individuals be 21 to purchase semiautomatic weapons. It’s not a stretch to believe that reasoning could apply to concealed weapons permits as well.

In addition to softening permitting rules for concealed carry, last year’s Supreme Court ruling prescribed a new test for lower courts in Second Amendment cases: For a gun control measure to be constitutionally permissible, it must be “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, one of the country’s leading Second Amendment scholars, told SFGATE last summer that in the case last year, New York City had provided historical analogues used to justify its permitting rules.

“The court says they’re looking to history and tradition, but New York presented plenty of history on restrictions on concealed carry that the court dismissed as outliers or not historically relevant,” he said. “The court claimed it was using history, but it looked like politics as usual to me.”

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