California Just Banned Arrests For Gun Theft, Date Rape Drug Possession

California Just Banned Arrests For Gun Theft, Date Rape Drug Possession

If you want to steal guns or sell date rape drugs and suffer no real consequences, move to California.

Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that California owners just supported with over 58 percent of the vote, requires misdemeanor instead of felony sentences for a number of so-called “non-serious” crimes. And that includes gun theft and possession of date rape drugs. Seriously. That’s not my personal opinion. It’s the official opinion of California state officials. Here’s what the state-sanctioned voter guide said about the “cons” of the ballot initiative:

Potentially releases 10,000 felons from state prison. Reduces penalties for stealing guns. Reduces penalties for possession of “date rape” drugs. Opposed by prosecutors, law enforcement, and the business community. Opposed by crime victims and sexual abuse victims. Vote NO on Proposition 47.

Are you freaking kidding me? I get the need for smarter sentencing laws and all that, but at what point did firearm theft and possession of date rape drugs become non-serious offenses? But it gets worse. It’s not just that gun theft is no longer a felony. The new law required by Proposition 47 now bans arrests for gun theft. Instead of arresting those suspected of stealing guns, police are required to write them a ticket and ask for them to appear in court.

If that sounds like what you would expect from a traffic ticket, it’s because it is. California just forced its law enforcement community to issue tickets for gun theft and date rape drug possession.

Here’s what the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department wrote about the new law on its Facebook page late last night:

1. In most instances, many crimes that were previously “arrestable” as a felony will now only be “citable” as a misdemeanor. That means they may not be booked into jail but rather given a citation (similar to a traffic ticket) with a court date to appear, and released in the field. They will not be held pending trial. Such felony crimes that are now misdemeanors include:
• Commercial burglary (theft under $950)
• Forgery and bad checks (under $950 value)
• Theft of most firearms
• Theft of a vehicle (under $950 value)
• Possession of stolen property (under $950 value)
• Possession of heroin, cocaine, illegal prescriptions, concentrated cannabis, and methamphetamine

This kind of nonsense is exactly what gun rights and self-defense advocates are talking about when they say we need to enforce existing gun laws instead of passing new ones to make life harder for law-abiding citizens who just want to defend themselves and their families.

If gun violence is a real problem (and it obviously is), why did California voters just make it easier for criminals to illegally obtain guns that they can use to perpetrate violence? Out of one side of their mouth, they lecture gun owners on why they’re not responsible enough to own guns, and out of the other side, they support new laws that turn serious gun crimes into non-arrestable misdemeanors.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. Seriously, it gets worse. The new California law also reduced penalties for possession of date rape drugs. Instead of being a felony, possessing date rape drugs is now a petty misdemeanor. Here’s what the L.A. Times wrote about that provision:

Opponents point out, though, that in reducing simple possession of most controlled substances from felonies or wobblers to misdemeanors, Proposition 47 covers roofies. Currently, a person caught with Rohypnol in his pocket can be prosecuted for a felony and end up in state prison for three years. If the initiative passes, he would be liable only for a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. But, as a practical matter, he may do no jail time at all. It would be merely a “slap on the wrist,” according to the ballot pamphlet rebuttal arguments signed by, among others, Sandra Henriquez, executive director of California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

In one fell swoop, California voters just made it a whole lot easier for criminals to commit gun crimes and perpetrate date rape.

Photo by Mr.Nikon
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
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