Assemblyman Tim Donnelly Introduces Sweeping Handgun Carry License Reform Bill AB 1563

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Carry license overhaul is desperately needed in light of recent Second Amendment case law, says gun-rights group CAL-FFL.

"What we’re doing is unwinding decades of unconstitutional laws and replacing them with a framework that respects our Second Amendment rights..." - Assemblyman Tim Donnelly

Following a landmark Ninth Circuit decision correctly holding that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right to bear arms for self-defense outside of our homes, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) has introduced the most sweeping reform of California’s handgun carry license laws since their establishment in 1923.

“AB 1563 fixes California’s handgun carry license system by implementing a fair, efficient, and effective framework that eliminates the burden on local law enforcement while still requiring background checks and that licensees be law-abiding people,” said Donnelly of the bill. “What we’re doing is unwinding decades of unconstitutional laws and replacing them with a framework that respects our Second Amendment rights, bringing us in line with dozens of other states.”

Under the existing system, sheriffs and municipal chiefs of police, who each have local rules that vary widely, are empowered to issue licenses to their residents. In many cases, these local agencies fail—or outright refuse—to follow existing state law, creating a maze of different regulations riddled with discretionary abuse and unequal treatment of applicants. Some cities and counties have continued to deny law-abiding people their pre-existing right to bear arms, despite the court decisions. AB 1563 will consolidate the license processes under the state’s umbrella by establishing a single, objective standard under the jurisdiction of one issuing authority.

“Californians deserve the same treatment of their Second Amendment rights as they expect for the rest of the Bill of Rights,” continued Donnelly. “The great disparity in policy and process across hundreds of California licensing authorities begs for a uniform system that protects their civil rights, conforms to precedent, and furthers the state’s narrowly-tailored interest in regulating the right to carry.”

California is expected to see a skyrocketing number of handgun carry licensees, with some estimates reaching over 1.4 million new permits over next 24 months—a striking increase from the 56,000 reported in 2013 by the California Department of Justice.

Brandon Combs, president of California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), the bill’s sponsor, said, “Our current system, nearly a century old, is riddled with discretionary abuse and practices that chill the exercise of rights our Founders knew to pre-exist government itself. It’s time for California to go mainstream and join the 41 other states that have a fair and objective system. AB 1563 takes California out of the civil rights Stone Age.”

“Our civil rights do not end at the city, county, or state lines. When the only people who are legally carrying in downtown Los Angeles are residents of Orange County, the system needs to be scrapped and fixed for good. AB 1563 does just that,” said Donnelly.

AB 1563 will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL) is California’s most tenacious and complete advocacy group for Second Amendment and related economic rights. CAL-FFL’s thousands of members include firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, collectors, consumers, and others who participate in the firearms ecosystem. CAL-FFL advances the interests of its members and the general public through direct lobbying, legal actions, education, and public outreach. To join CAL-FFL, please visit

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, first elected to represent the 59th Assembly District in November 2010, has represented the 33rd Assembly District since December 2012. He is honored to represent the communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin, Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville. Tim is blessed to live in the scenic San Bernardino Mountains with his wonderful wife, Rowena, five sons, and one grandson.

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Brandon Combs
since: 08/2009
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