SB 140, authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), seeks to remedy the gun-confiscation backlog that has left thousands of illegal guns on the streets, including those owned by those with criminal convictions or serious mental illness.
“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” Leno said in a statement. “However, due to a lack of resources, only a few of these illegally possessed weapons have been confiscated, and the mountain of firearms continues to grow each day."
The measure will take $24 million from the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) surplus funds and give it to the California Department of Justice, which is in charge of confiscating illegal guns. The DROS account holds fees that are imposed upon every transfer or sale of a firearm in California.
Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) said he voted against the measure because the fees that make up the DROS funds are intended to cover the cost of background checks -- not confiscations.
"For example, if you go to the DMV and pay for a driver's license, that fee is for processing the driver's license, not for setting up sting operations for catching drunk drivers," he said.
"If the legislature wants to raise extra funds for the DOJ, it would have to impose a tax on firearm sales, which requires a two-thirds vote," he added.
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