Cooper Leads Effort to Curtail Gun Violence

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO – In an effort to combat gun violence, Assistant Majority Leader Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) presented a package of bills aimed at curtailing gun violence by ending the production of untraceable homemade firearms and by making the theft of a firearm a felony.

“Increasingly untraceable, undetectable, and stolen firearms are being used in serious crimes,” said Assemblymember Cooper, a former 30-year law enforcement officer. “I am proud to author legislation to address these issues and protect the public while safeguarding our Second Amendment rights.”

AB 857 will end the production of untraceable and undetectable homemade firearms by specifically banning the manufacture and possession of self-made and self-assembled firearms, unless the firearm contains a serial number. The bill requires any person who makes or assembles a firearm to first obtain a serial number from the Department of Justice and demonstrate that he or she is not prohibited by law from owning or possessing a firearm.

AB 1176 addresses an unintended consequence of the passage of Proposition 47. Existing law makes the theft, buying, or receiving of stolen property under the value of $950.00 including firearms, a misdemeanor. However, many firearms, including semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, and assault weapons have a retail value under $950.00. AB 1176 will make the theft of a firearm, regardless of value, a felony. The bill will also make the buying or receiving of a stolen firearm a wobbler. AB 1176 requires this issue be placed on the November 2016 ballot.

“These bills send a clear message that the State of California will not sit idly by while innocent people are being killed by criminals using stolen and untraceable firearms,” said Cooper. “We have a duty to protect the public and punish the guilty; AB 857 and AB 1176 do just that.”

AB 857 and AB 1176 were approved today in the Senate Public Safety Committee and will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Assemblymember Cooper represents the Cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.