By RIA ROEBUCK JOSEPH
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit yesterday to immediately stop parts of a court order that blocks the enforcement of certain provisions of the Unsafe Handgun Act.
With families in Tennessee still reeling from a school shooting that left 3 nine-year-olds and 3 school employees dead yesterday, the appeal comes at a sensitive time.
“California’s common sense gun safety laws save lives, and the Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA) is no exception,” said Mr. Bonta.
A preliminary injunction by the Central District of California struck down the UHA requirements for a chamber load indicator on semi automatic pistols, and a magazine disconnect mechanism that prevents the pistol from firing when the magazine is not inserted.
Since the UHA was enacted in 2021, the provisions for these features were added to the law along with a microstamping requirement.
If granted, the emergency motion to partially stay the preliminary injunction, would halt portions of the Central District of California’s order striking down the UHA’s requirements. If the motion is not granted, firearm dealers would be allowed to sell additional models of semiautomatic pistols beyond the 32 approved models.
The UHA provisions in question are primarily preventative for unintended and self-inflicted shootings. The AG’s concern is that with the injunction, gun manufacturers will seek to expand the proportion of firearms available on the market that do not have the additional UHA mandated features.
“Accidental shootings are preventable. The fact that children under five are the most likely victims makes these accidental gun deaths even more tragic and inexcusable,” Mr. Bonta said.
Research by IHME shows the United States as an outlier, set apart from other high-income countries and territories in a gun violence study. The study states, “Since 1999, the share of all childhood deaths caused by gun violence in the US has increased by about 0.5%, with the largest portion consistently due to physical violence, followed by suicide, and the smallest share caused by unintentional firearm injuries.”
Between 2014 and 2018, accidental deaths in California decreased by two thirds after the new gun safety requirements when chamber load indicators and magazine disconnect mechanisms were required. California has stringent gun laws which Mr. Bonta credits for the state’s directional shift in gun-related deaths.
As weapons become faster, more powerful, and more deadly, this risk only increases. Flooding the marketplace with unsafe semi automatic pistols that do not meet necessary safety requirements poses a serious threat to public health and safety, especially for children and young adults,” Mr. Bonta said.