California Governor Jerry Brown has told a gathering of police officers ”I’ve got 3 guns”. Brown was responding to critics of his plan to transfer State prison inmates to county jails. Those critics have called his plan the “Get a dog, buy a gun bill”. Brown countered by telling the Alliance of California Law Enforcement that neither of those two items are unusual things to have in one’s home. Brown owns three unspecified firearms and a Corgi.
Readers will recall that Brown was once a foe of firearms ownership; going so far as to call for a moratorium on gun sales during his 1992 Presidential run. The intervening years, and perhaps his stint as mayor of Oakland, have wrought a change in Jerry’s attitude towards guns. In 2009, then Attorney General Brown filed an amicus brief in support of gun rights in the McDonald case. The brief called the Federal 2nd Amendment an important control on State and local governments in California:
California has a strong interest in protecting the constitutional rights of its citizens. But unlike many states, California has no state constitutional counterpart to the Second Amendment. Unless the protections of the Second Amendment extend to citizens living in the States as well as to those living in federal enclaves, California citizens could be deprived of the constitutional right to possess handguns in their homes as affirmed in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008).
What a long, strange trip it’s been!