California Handgun Roster LEO Exemption Swaps Exclusive Privileges for Universal Rights

Gun-grabber (except when he thinks he can get a political advantage carving out exemptions for supporters) Rob Bonta and friend. Do you really need to know any nmore about him than this photo reveals? (Rob Bonta: Facebbok)

“California maintains a list of handguns that can be legally purchased by the public,” The San Diego Tribune reports. “But the law establishing that list also includes an exemption that allows some members of law enforcement — police officers and sheriff’s deputies, for example — to buy ‘off-roster’ guns.”

Because evidently the danger of “untested” guns that make them “unsafe” to be owned by the rest of us mundanes goes away when transferred to the capable hands of “trained professionals.”  How that is so, when a gun making the “safe” list has nothing to do with operator skill and everything to do with manufacturers paying a fee to the state, is left unsaid. But the bottom line is, police are the “Only Ones” exempted and mere “civilians” (yeah, I know, that’s why it’s in quotation marks) will have their lives destroyed if they get caught violating the “rules.”

And naturally, as with all such edicts, this one has contradictions that create a massive Catch-22:

“Brandon Combs, executive director of The Calguns Foundation, a group that advocates for gun owners and gun rights, said the law puts the onus on licensed firearms dealers — who have to broker any sale through a private-party transfer — to verify that the buyer and seller are both in law enforcement and can make the sale. But Combs said there is no database or any other method available for dealers to verify that information.”

No matter that the chief proponent of such exclusivity is Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, as committed an oath-breaking gun-grabber as you’re likely to find. That suits establishment law enforcement groups just fine, with support for Bonta’s efforts coming from all the usual “We’ve got ours” suspects, including:

“[T]he California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, State Coalition of Probation Organizations and the Police Officers Research Association of California. Another two dozen law enforcement unions and organizations supported the bill, including unions for San Diego police and county probation officers.”

“Bonta, who has sponsored several gun control bills, said in a statement that AB2165 was designed to allow ‘certain trained law enforcement officers to continue using their firearms after the state’s list of prohibited guns changed,’” The Tribune explains. As already seen, that’s a fraudulent claim, as roster inclusion has nothing to do with operator skill, and even if it did (which would be an unconstitutional prior restraint), with the exception of special tactical operators, your average rank and file cop is not required to show a level of qualification skills that can’t be matched and exceeded by plenty of“ordinary” gun owners.

I don’t suppose receiving endorsements from some of those groups has anything to do with it… didn’t find running through the LAPD qualifying course all that difficult. And remember, many officers do bare minimum in terms of practicing, many departments allow basically “C” level performance to pass, and those who don’t can retake the test. But that doesn’t stop any of them from owning “off-roster” guns.

Don’t get me wrong – I think all these officers have an absolute right to own whatever firearms they want, regardless of anything job-related. I just also think we all do.

That’s why, just as these and retired officers should be able to carry firearms anywhere in the country, I opposed the so-called Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) which, aside from its ridiculous “skill” test, excludes the rest of us.

I don’t see any of the organizations stumping for LEO exemptions on gun edicts giving any thought at all about bringing the people they say they “protect and serve” into the fold—as a matter of fact, many are just fine with ratcheting up the infringements and supporting anti-gun politicians.

We’re supposed to have equal protection under the law. You can’t have that when elite groups have their place at the table and the rest of us are left on the outside looking in.

Especially when we’re the ones paying for the feast and every member of those elite groups has taken an oath to the Constitution…

UPDATE: Bonta wants to make sure his fellow communists are welcome in California government positions where they can maximize subversion efforts.


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About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.