PORAC disappointed about SB620

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, there is a bi-partisan effort in Congress to place more restrictions on the use of assault weapons and tools used to convert legal semi-automatic firearms into rapid fire or automatic weapons.

Recently, Governor Brown signed SB 620 by Senator Steven Bradford and it will become law Jan. 1, 2018. PORAC cannot understand why the governor and democratic leaders would pass a law that allows criminals using a firearm in the commission of a crime to not be charged with the use of that firearm.

PORAC has opposed the bill from the beginning, and for two serious reasons:

•The current statutes relating to firearm enhancements already allow a judge to use discretion in sentencing. Each enhancement section has various levels of sentencing durations to be used by the judge on a case-by-case basis.

•PORAC continues to have concerns over the passage of Proposition 57 and the early release of prisoners who have not only committed serious crimes against the public, but have usually left a trail of victims behind. The firearm enhancement sections of the Penal Code often may be the only penalty keeping a convicted criminal from being eligible for early parole under Proposition 57. By allowing a judge to eliminate or not impose the firearm enhancement, the likelihood of dangerous criminals on the street increases.
This measure is unfair to victims and dangerous for our communities.