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Gun Control Opponents Say New Bill Would Criminalize Firearm Owners

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new senate bill could land California gun owners behind bars if they don’t report lost or stolen guns.

S.B. 299 would require every person whose gun was stolen or lost to report it to law enforcement within 48 hours, or be in violation of the law.

The penalties range from $100 for the first offense to $1,000 for the second and possible jail time in addition to a fine for the third offense.

“We’re trying to ease people into it,” said Sen. Mark Desaulnier (D-Concord), the bill’s author. “We think it’s a good public safety effort.”

Critics are concerned the bill could make criminals out of victims of crime.

“We believe gun owners, legal gun owners who are responsible, are being penalized,” said Craig DeLuz of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.

The bill’s administrative costs are estimated to be around $100,000.

The Senator believes that money would be an investment to save lives by helping law enforcement keep better track of lost or stolen guns on the streets.

“Given how much gun trafficking is costing California right now, there will be a savings in the long run,” Desaulnier said.

The bill has moved on from the appropriations committee to the Senate.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year.

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