Resistance State: California in the Age of Trump
Between Sacramento and Washington D.C. sits the rest of the country, and a chasm. On immigration and taxes, guns and healthcare, cannabis and climate change, California is the federal government’s equal and opposite reaction. One year into President Trump’s first term, the push and pull continues—playing out under the Capitol dome, in the courts and on Twitter.
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In yet another challenge to a Trump administration priority, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is calling on Congress to nix legislation that would allow out-of-state gun owners to pack concealed firearms in public places throughout California.
Becerra and 17 other attorneys general from states across the U.S. sent a letter to Congressional leaders yesterday urging them to kill two concealed-carry reciprocity bills introduced earlier this year. A long-sought goal of the National Rifle Association, the proposed legislation would treat permits to carry concealed firearms much like drivers’ licenses: A gun permit in one state would have to be honored in another, regardless of how much easier it is to get a permit in a state like Utah than in California. Twelve states allow their residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit.
While referencing the mass shooting in Las Vegas that occurred earlier this month, the letter argues that the proposed legislation would make it extremely difficult for local law enforcement to determine when a individual is illegally possessing a firearm in public, because that individual could claim he or she has a valid permit from another state. Other signatories to the letter included attorneys general from New York, Washington, Virginia, Oregon and North Carolina.
Becerra joins a growing chorus of California political leaders who have voiced opposition to concealed carry reciprocity. Last month, lawmakers approved a resolution sponsored by Los Angeles Democratic Assemblyman Miguel Santiago that also urged Congress to kill the bills.
Both the House and Senate versions of concealed carry reciprocity legislation have yet to receive a vote.
A day after Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to the Trump administration’s request to beef up the National Guard in states along the Mexico border, fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would not have made the same decision as governor.
But Newsom, who is the front-runner in the race to replace Brown as governor, put a large asterisk on his disagreement with Brown:
Brown announced Wednesday that he would accept federal funding to add 400 California National Guard members “to combat transnational crime.” But he laid out a long list of conditions in an agreement with federal authorities: The troops will not build a border wall or enforce immigration laws, and the arrangement is approved only until Sept. 30. Brown also specified that when it comes to the state’s National Guard, he is the “commander in chief.”
America’s Commander in Chief responded Thursday on Twitter: “Thank you Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!”