Two California law enforcement leaders held a press conference Thursday morning to express concerns about California’s “Safety For All Act”, a controversial law proposal that which would further tighten California’s already infamously-stringent gun laws.
According to ABC 23, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Taft Police Chief Ed Whiting voiced their opposition to a law that they feel both tramples the Constitutional rights of Californians and hinders the safety of law enforcement and civilians alike.
The gun-control initiative – led by Lt.Governor Gavin Newsom- focuses on instituting background checks for ammunition purchases, the mandatory banning and surrendering or confiscation of magazines that can hold over 10 rounds- including those belonging to retired and reserve law enforcement officers. In addition, charges could theoretically be filed against individuals who sell ammunition without being authorized California ammunition vendors, as well as individuals who fail to report their weapons lost or stolen within a certain period of time. Lastly, there could be up to a 30-day authorization to purchase ammunition.
Youngblood and Whiting strongly opposed the proposal, saying that it would only harm the law-abiding.
“You can’t legislate people. We have to have fair laws and laws that hold people accountable,” Sheriff Youngblood said.
Chief Whiting criticized the Californian government’s war on firearms, citing that the efforts would best be allocated to more pressing matters.
“If you want to make some laws, how about doing something about mental health issues. Here’s a thought, let’s put more people in jail that commit crimes. But nobody wants to do that right now.”
Youngblood concurred with Whiting’s statement, saying the state needs to focus more on tougher sentencing when it comes to criminals, and not so much on restricting second amendment rights.
“We’re having a gang war in this county with gang members in retaliation, which has nothing to do with gun control, that’s human behavior,” said Youngblood. “The ones who aren’t going to be armed, are the people who have the right to protect themselves from these predators.”
The law enforcement leaders also came down on California’s practice of releasing scores of inmates under California’s Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, known as Prop 47.
“Dumping inmates is not working and I think it’s causing crime rate to go higher and I think we all see that,” Whiting quipped. “Prop 47 is one of the most horrible proposition laws I’ve seen in the almost 40 years I’ve been in law enforcement.”
According to Whiting, over $25 million will be pulled from the state’s general fund, in order to increase the California Department of Justice staff, mainly for ammunition background checks.