Among the natural and inalienable rights recognized by the California Constitution is the right of “defending life and liberty.” While that document includes no express “right to keep and bear arms” in the manner proclaimed by the United States Constitution, the California Constitution does recognize, in Article 1, Section 24, that “this declaration of rights may not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.”
It is apparent that under natural law and consistent with the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear weapons necessary for defense is an inseparable part of the right to defend life and liberty. So long as violent predators have access to firearms, the peaceful citizens of this state cannot constitutionally be deprived of their only means of effective defense against an armed attacker, which is a firearm of at least equal effectiveness to that wielded by the attacker.
Over the years, the state legislature has passed many detailed regulations and restrictions on weapons owners and dealers. As Attorney General, I would not charge any person with a mere possession, transactional or registration violation of weapons laws, except in cases where the weapon is actually being used to further a crime with an actual victim. The scarce resources of the Attorney General must be preserved for prosecuting actual crimes, not politically expedient bans on possessing, trading, or transporting items reasonably necessary and useful for self-defense by otherwise peaceful and law-abiding citizens.