After declaring the county’s gun stores “nonessential” Monday, on Tuesday morning Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Fox 11 Los Angeles “he is beginning to close gun stores immediately,” and is sending deputies to gun stores “one by one to order them shut down.”
The Sheriff told me he is a gun owner himself, supports 2nd amendment, but believes too many first time buyers are panicking and bringing guns into homes where people are locked down, which he believes is recipe for disaster with potential accidental shootings. @FOXLA
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 24, 2020
His full quote, from the accompanying story:
“We will be closing them. They are not an essential function,” Villanueva said. “I’m a supporter of the 2nd amendment, I’m a gun owner myself, but now you have the mixture of people that are not formerly gun owners and you have a lot more people at home. And any time you introduce a firearm in a home, from what I understand from CDC studies, it increases fourfold the chance that someone is gonna get shot.”
His comments betray a stunning amount of ignorance of the gun laws he’s charged with enforcing. Although California’s notoriously stringent gun control laws haven’t been eased due to the public health crisis, business has been brisk. RedState spoke with an employee of a gun store in Southern California, who explained the convoluted process:
California has a 10-day cooling off period for all firearm purchases, not just pistols. Even an 80 percent lower is subject to the 10-day waiting period. All buyers also have to possess a valid Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC), pass a background check, and successfully perform a Safe Handling Skills demonstration on the gun they’re purchasing. That demonstration has to be performed in front of a DOJ-certified instructor at the time all of the paperwork is filled out, since the instructor has to attach an affidavit to the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) paperwork that’s sent to the state to perform the background check.
A first time gun buyer wouldn’t have the FSC, so they’d have to pay $25 and pass the Firearms Safety Test, which we offer in the store. That’s a 30-question test similar to the written portion of a drivers license exam. When they pass that test, their FSC is good for five years.
Once the new gun owner picks up their weapon, they need ammunition. In California, there’s a separate permit to purchase ammunition. If they’re not already in the system (meaning that they already have a registered gun in California) they must undergo a Basic Ammunition Eligibility Check, which is $20 and can take days for results to come back. That process can take place during the 10-day cooling off period.
So, at bare minimum first-time gun buyers in California will have to wait 10 days before taking possession of their new weapon and will have had to successfully pass a Firearms Safety Test and a Safe Handling Demonstration. For Sheriff Villanueva to suspend the ability for LA County residents to exercise a fundamental right based on “what [he] understands from CDC studies” and by perpetuating the myth that people can simply walk into a gun store and bring home a gun and ammo with no training is irresponsible in the extreme.
Watch Villanueva’s comments below.