The key components of President Obama’s gun proposals have been in force in California for years.
That’s why some gun owners aren’t convinced they’ll work. California banned assault weapons after the Cleveland Elementary School massacre in Stockton in 1989.
Patrick Purdy killed five children and injured two dozen more with an assault rifle before killing himself. Large ammunition magazines are also banned in California and there are strict background checks and a waiting period. Gun enthusiasts aren’t convinced that those laws are stopping gun violence from criminals who circumvent the laws.
“I’m O.K. for gun control if it’s going to stop the criminal, but taking guns away from me because I want to go shoot and I’m trying to do it legally? I mean, how does that stop anything?” said Matt Pugmire as he was entering a local gun store.
Pugmire says government officials haven’t owned up to mental health cutbacks that have led to unstable individuals getting and using guns.
“Start treating those people with those conditions that are starting all this stuff,” said Pugmire.
While California’s gun laws are already stronger than some of the President’s proposals, gun owners in the Golden State can’t rest easy. That’s because California lawmakers are introducing even more gun restrictions.
Among them is a law that would punish gun owners for not using gun locks, requiring a $50 yearly permit to purchase ammunition, limitations on how much ammo you can buy at a time, and restricting devices that would cause a semi-automatic weapon to fire more quickly.
Next year, a law will take effect which requires shotguns and rifles to be registered.
Some gun owners remain skeptical about how effective new federal and state laws will be.
“You can put all these laws into effect but I don’t think it’s going to work at all,” said gun owner Alan Reeser.