Assemblyman Todd Gloria
Assemblyman Todd Gloria. Photo by Chris Stone

A San Diego lawmaker’s bill to regulate concealed carry weapons is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after receiving final bipartisan approval Monday from the Assembly.

Assembly Bill 2103, introduced in February by Assemblyman Todd Gloria mandates a minimum of eight hours of training and live-fire shooting exercises to obtain a concealed carry permit in California. Under current state law, no training is required to acquire a concealed carry permit and/or weapon, he said.

The gun control groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety sponsored the bill, which is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association, Gloria said.

The state Senate approved the legislation last week.

“From day one, this bill has been about protecting the public. From day one, this bill embodied an important yet straightforward message: enough is enough,” Gloria said. “With the continued prevalence of gun violence in this nation, we can no longer be idle or claim ignorance.”

Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill. Gloria’s spokesman, Nick Serrano, expressed optimism that Brown will sign it into law, noting that Gloria’s office and Brown’s office have worked together through the amendment process.

Wendy Wheatcroft, leader of the California chapter of Moms Demand Action, said the legislation would “solidify California’s status as a leader in gun safety. This bill can prevent tragedy before it strikes by ensuring concealed weapons holders demonstrate that they can operate a firearm safely.”

The bill’s bipartisan success “speaks volumes,” Serrano said, noting that gun violence has continued to plague the country and draw headlines, most recently on Sunday with a shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, that took several lives.

“It’s about being smarter,” Serrano said. “We want to make sure guns aren’t getting into the wrong hands.”

However, Michael Schwartz, executive director of the San Diego County Gun Owners political action group, criticized the new bill as unnecessary.

“This new legislation proposed by this anti-Second Amendment state assemblymember calls for safety rules for gun owners that already exist,” said Schwartz. “The purpose of this grandstanding is nothing more than an attempt to influence the public to believe that gun owners are dangerous and unsafe, which is untrue.”

The California penal code requires applicants for concealed carry to complete an approved training course, but doesn’t specify a minimum number of hours or live-fire exercises, leaving that to the discretion of local authorities.

Updated at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28

— City News Service