New California bill would examine hunting licenses in gun sales – Action News Now

Posted By on February 6, 2020

CHICO, Calif. -A California lawmaker proposed legislation that would require closer scrutiny of hunting licenses, similar to the one used by a teenager charged with opening fire at a synagogue last year.

The suspect, John T. Earnest, was issued a hunting license, but it was not set to go into effect until about two months after shooting in April at the Chabad of Poway. Earnest is charged with killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring three others, including the rabbi and an 8-year-old girl, according to the Associated Press.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Caada Flintridge said the gun store did not adequately check to make sure the hunting license was valid.

His SB914 bill would require the retailer and the State Department of Justice to re-run background checks.

After a person purchases a firearm, they will have to go through a 10-day waiting period before their background is cleared even if they already have a hunting license.

After the 10 days, the gun purchaser is able to pick up their item.

Action News Now spoke with the owner of the Down Range, Will Clark, he thinks this bill is a limitation of people's constitutional rights.

"We as firearm dealers or anybody selling a firearm will have to confirm for 18, 19, and 20-year-olds that their hunting license is valid through the Department of Fish and Wildlife," Clark said. "Well, a hunting license that issues its either valid or not valid. So, one of the things about that law is that it won't prevent evil people from getting guns. So that means now 18, 19, and 20-year-olds cannot buy firearms unless they have an exemption - which is a limitation of their constitutional rights."

People in Chico told Action News Now they feel the restrictions on the bill are ridiculous.

"I think that when people are 18-years-old, they're adults, they can serve in the military, they can defend our country, and they should have the right to own firearms and hunt," Dana Davis said.

Action News Now reached out to the California Fish and Wildlife Department but has not heard back from them.

If the new bill becomes a law, the State Justice Department will have to coordinate with the California Fish and Wildlife Department since they issue hunting licenses.

California's current age limit law kept the minimum age to buy a gun at 18 for military, law enforcement, and those with valid state-issued hunting licenses.

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New California bill would examine hunting licenses in gun sales - Action News Now

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