Leftists in California have been trying to ram through SB-906, a gun control bill that would require gun-owning parents of children in California schools to inform those schools that they own firearms, supposedly as a way of stopping mass shootings. Specifically, the legislative digest describing the bill’s provisions provides that (emphasis ours):
This bill would require, on or before January 1, 2023, the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to develop model content for use by local educational agencies related to a threat or perceived threat of an incident of mass casualties at a school. Using the model content, the bill would require local educational agencies to require the parents or guardians of a pupil to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the pupil and to answer questions about the ownership, storage, and accessibility by the pupil of the firearms. The bill would require local educational agencies to include information related to the safe storage of firearms in the annual notification provided to the parents or guardians of a pupil. If a school official is alerted to or observes any threat or perceived threat of an incident of mass casualties at a school, the bill would require a report of the threat or perceived threat to be immediately made to law enforcement and the Department of Justice. The bill would require a school or local educational agency, in consultation with law enforcement, to conduct immediately an investigation and threat assessment, as specified. The bill would require the investigation and threat assessment to include a review of the parent or guardian’s firearm disclosure information and a search of the pupil and pupil’s property located at the schoolsite if there is reasonable suspicion that a search will result in discovery of a firearm or other evidence that the pupil has or is violating the law or the school’s safety rules or policies. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Yes, California actually wanted to require parents to disclose to schools not only that they own firearms, but to go a step farther and tell the schools exactly how such firearms are stored.
Now, perhaps the California legislature really does care about mass shootings at schools. But, assuming their motives aren’t entirely pure now or won’t be for the entirety of the future, this bill was a huge threat to the rights of gun owners.
Why? Well, for one, because it treats them like second-class citizens. Do other parents have to disclose what they keep at home? No, that would be ridiculous. Yet gun owners would be required to do so because leftists in California are scared of firearms. That’s unjust and unfair; parents and children shouldn’t be treated differently because they freely exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Perhaps even more importantly is that the bill would have created a massive database of guns in California and, critically, where and how those guns are stored. If the legislature then decided to ban yet more types of weapons in the state, all it would have to do to confiscate them, or at least begin the process of doing so, would be to ask the schools which parents own the prohibited type of firearm and how those weapons are kept.
There’s a reason the government isn’t supposed to have a database of guns and gun owners: such a database is the first step on the path to confiscation. And that’s exactly what the California leftists wanted to create.
Fortunately, however, the bill failed to even make it past a committee vote, as Just the News reported:
Senate Bill 906, introduced by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, failed to advance out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, with only two members voting to advance the measure.
Portantino had promised to amend the bill significantly if it passed through the committee, pledging to narrow his law to exclude elementary schools, among other things. But that wasn’t enough to overcome opposition from the majority of the committee, with several lawmakers saying the outcome could have been different if Portantino’s bill had focused more on student mental health.
Stopping such bills as this is a major victory for gun rights, a major win for those who want to maintain the right to keep and bear arms.