According to the The Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation aimed at taking handguns and assault rifles away from 20,000 Californians who acquired them legally but have since been disqualified from ownership because of a criminal conviction or serious mental illness . . .http://www.latimes.com/...
The state operates a database that cross-references a list of gun owners with those disqualified later from owning guns. But, budget cuts have prevented the state Department of Justice from keeping up with the growing number of people on the list.
State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced SB 140, which takes the money from fees paid when people buy guns and allocates it to a three-year campaign to take guns from those ineligible to have them.
With all the discussion about gun control recently in my home state of Maryland, I don't ever recall seeing a discussion about the problem of what to do with the guns in the hands of people who legally bought them at the time, but who later became ineligible to own guns. Examples of people falling in this category are those convicted of crimes after purchasing the gun, or those with serious mental illness. I am glad to see that California previously addressed this issue by keeping a database and by providing a mechanism to remove the guns.
It appears from the article that there were budget difficulties with implementing the program, and I am glad to see that the State of California has now come up with a solution to this problem. The solution of taking the funding from the fees paid by those purchasing guns seems to me to be very fair since it puts the costs on gun owners rather than on all taxpayers. If they want to (in their words) exercise their "second amendment rights", it seems that they should be the ones responsible for paying the cost of exercising these rights.