California Lawmakers Exempt Themselves from Gun Laws-Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
Claims that California lawmakers exempt themselves from gun laws resurfaced in 2017.
The California state Senate considered a gun bill that would have given lawmakers special consideration under a concealed carry gun law in 2011. The lawmaker exemption was eventually thrown out — but outdated rumors that California lawmakers exempt themselves from gun laws persist today.
Most California citizens were prohibited from carrying concealed weapons in public without a permit prior to 2011. Applicants had to demonstrate “good cause” that they were at increased risk of violence to be granted a concealed carry permit by local authorities. People working in dangerous professions like bail bondsmen, jewelers and prosecutors are often held up as examples of “good cause.”
Introduced in 2011, Senate Bill 610 made a number of changes to the “good cause” law. It standardized the timeline for sheriff and police departments to rule on “good cause” applications. The gun law also ensures that citizens don’t have to go through gun training unless they’re granted a “good cause” determination.
And an early version also included a provision in which California lawmakers exempted themselves from the gun law. Supporters of the bill claimed that the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, and threats from constituents were reasons for streamlining “good cause” determinations for lawmakers.
The proposal proved controversial. A state Senate committee eventually advanced the bill without the good cause exemption for lawmakers. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law (without the exemption) in October 2011.
Why Did the ‘California Lawmakers Exempt Themselves From Gun Law’ Rumor Resurface in 2017?
California’s “good cause” gun law proved controversial, even without the “good cause’ provision. In fact, a group of citizens from San Diego and Yolo counties sued in federal court in 2016. They argued that their Second Amendment rights were violated by their sheriffs’ department definitions of “good cause.”
The case, Edward Peruta v. California et al, was filed in June 2016. A federal district court initially dismissed the case, but the decision was appealed. After the 9th Circuit found that the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to concealed carry, the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In June 2017, the Supreme Court denied the petition, allowing lower court rulings to stand.
As the legal process unfolded from 2016-2017, however, outdated rumors about California lawmakers exempting themselves from gun laws resurfaced. The conspiracy-minded website InfoWars led the charge when it reported a story under the headline, “California Gun Law: One Law for Us, Another for You,” in June 2016.
Similar (outdated) claims that the California Senate had quietly exempted themsleves from gun laws appeared at right-wing websites like RallyPoint.com, JoeforAmerica.com and DailySurge.com through 2016 and 2017. Other versions claimed that California lawmakers exempted themselves from all gun bills — even future ones.
These stories cited sources from 2011. Still, they implied that the legislature had just acted on the bill, and that the final version included the “good cause” lawmaker exemption. However, neither is true. That’s why we’re calling this one “outdated.”