Governor Brown vetoes AB180, tighter gun control in Oakland

Assemblymember Rob Bonta

Assemblymember Bonta holds a press conference after the first hearing of the Assembly’s Select Committee on Gun Violence. Bonta is chair of the committee. Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s office.

On Friday, October 11, Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 180, which would have allowed local control of guns in Oakland. While gun issues in California are currently regulated at the state level, this law would have taken the unusual step of allowing the local government to tighten laws on the registration and licensing of firearms.

“The State of California has among the strictest gun laws in the country. Allowing individual cities to enact their own more restrictive firearms regulations will sow confusion and uncertainty,” Governor Brown wrote in his statement about the veto.

“I am mindful of the challenges the City of Oakland faces in addressing gun violence, but this is not the right solution,” Brown added.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). “Across our state, communities are suffering from a devastating combination of budget cuts to public safety and coinciding increases in violent crime,” Bonta said in a statement after the State Assembly approved AB 180 last May. “No one can deny that Oakland is suffering from among the highest levels of gun violence in the state and in the nation.”


  1. Brown did the right thing for the reasons he stated.

    But even if you think this was just what Oakland needed to reduce violent crime, the bill would have dragged us into an extremely costly legal battle with gun rights advocate groups with deep pockets.

    Merely defending gang injunctions against local public interest pro-bono attorneys cost us an estimated 900 thousand of internal legal staff time a couple of years ago.

    Then there’s the cost of setting up a tracking system and staff to analyze and follow up. Think of an OPD with an antiquated computer system , no data collection department, and one of the worst case closure rates in the country. No money was provided by the bill to fund the implementation.

    This was one more of a long string of feel good public relations gestures by most of our local politicians to make a show of making Oakland safer.

    They should concentrate on providing basic police services and effective social programs and not take on jobs best performed at the Federal and state levels.

  2. Native Oaklander

    Guns or lack of same don’t equate to moral standing.

    I don’t buy the NRA claptrap that a gun owner is some sort of morally superior sheepdog.

    Conversely, I don’t buy the Schaaf/Bonta/Feinstein argument that a gun owner is some sort of crime spree waiting to happen.

    This was plain and simple harassment under color of authority.

    For this registration system to be revenue neutral, it would have to be $1000 per year per gun. Or I would simply move half my guns to another city with my 90 year old mother-in-law (where they would be less secure than the security measures I integrated into my foundation replacement), and pay the fees on the other half (which WOULDN’T go to improvements on my property or to locally owned and operated businesses).

    I have no doubt that this roster would somehow become a public document, as they have in other municipalities that maintain gun registers.

    Oakland’s crime problem stems in part from the fact that people who engage in criminal behavior have fans in government who fall all over themselves to give them a pass. Meanwhile, people who take lawful measures to protect themselves IN THEIR HOMES from these parasites are criminalized. And if you don’t think this is happening, guess again:

    I know of one other incident–in Oakland–that was NOT reported.

    Liberal guilt.

    • Mikey

      Many violent crimes are prevented by the threat of lawful use of a gun by someone at home. We’ll never know how often this happens because the citizen using a gun legally does not want to be identified. Nor, of course, does the criminal.

      Only when a criminal is actually shot and killed are such stories going to come to light.

  3. Fed up oaklander

    Bonta is a moron, plain and simple.

  4. Such a nice detail put by author on gun control in Oakland and related discussion by Governor Brown is awesome i like that speech on this blog.

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