Sacramento, CA – August 30, 2023 – The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee in California is scheduled to hear Assembly Bill 135 (AB 135) today. Its companion bill, Senate Bill 135 (SB 135), is also eligible for a hearing in the Assembly Budget Committee, although a date has not yet been set. Both bills have sparked heated debate among citizens and advocacy groups, as they grant the Attorney General the authority to unilaterally increase the fee for ammunition eligibility checks.
Current law specifies that fee increases for these checks should not exceed “the increase in the California Consumer Price Index.” However, AB 135 and SB 135 aim to repeal this language. Critics argue that this would open the door for fees to rise significantly, which could be a violation of the constitutional right to bear arms.
Local Burbank activists argue that removing the limit set by the California Consumer Price Index could lead to skyrocketing costs for law-abiding citizens who exercise their Second Amendment rights. A person familiar with the matter argues that this is yet another example of bureaucratic inefficiency and overreach that penalizes responsible firearm owners; making the ownership of arms for self-protection costly and only the pervue of those who have money.
Advocates for the bill claim that increased fees could be used to enhance background check systems and public safety measures. However, opponents believe that the move could be a slippery slope towards making ammunition prohibitively expensive for the average citizen, thereby infringing upon their rights.
Citizens who oppose these proposed bills are being urged to make their voices heard by contacting committee members and signing petitions. A dedicated platform has been set up at speak4.app for those who wish to oppose AB 135 and SB 135.
Both bills are being closely watched not only in California but also across the nation, as they could set a precedent for similar legislation in other states. As they move through the legislative process, all eyes will be on the committees to see whether these bills advance or are stopped in their tracks.