‘Gun Rationing’: State May Limit Rifle & Shotgun Purchases To One-A-Month

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Residents of one western state will be able to purchase only one gun a month if a bill passed by the state’s Senate becomes law.

The California bill, sponsored by State Senator Antony Portantino (D-Pasadena), was labeled “firearms rationing” by the Firearms Policy Coalition.

“A person shall not make an application to purchase more than one firearm within any 30-day period,” SB 497 states.

The bill applies not only to pistols but also to rifles and shotguns.

It specifically exempts law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, licensed firearms dealers, motion picture and television production companies, and licensed collectors.

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Current California law makes it illegal for private citizens to purchase more than one handgun a month. SB 497 extends that restriction to rifles and shotguns.

“This bill would make the 30-day prohibition and the dealer delivery prohibition described above applicable to all types of firearms,” the legislative counsel’s digest of SB 497 states. Dealers who violate SB 497 can be prosecuted as criminals.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 25-13. To become law, it must pass the state Assembly and then be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

“Gun rationing laws set a bad and unconstitutional precedent that government can limit the frequency with which a law-abiding citizen may exercise a constitutionally protected right,” Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in 2014. “If governments can limit law-abiding citizens to one gun a month, they can extend it to one gun a year, one gun a lifetime, or no guns at all.”

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