California state lawmakers have wasted no time in the young 2016 portion of their legislative session to push their gun control agenda, to which pro-gun rights groups say is no surprise given the proximity to the tragic shooting deaths in San Bernardino. A number of additional gun-related bills have been introduced this week.
“Hopefully all of us can agree there are too many deaths from guns,” said state Sen. Dr. Richard Pan of Sacramento.
Tuesday, Pan introduced SB 877, which would require the state to keep track of gun violence data. That, he says, would allow better research on what works and what doesn’t to prevent gun deaths, much like car accident records which the state does keep.
“That research was not to abolish automobiles. It was about making them safer and reducing injuries and deaths,” Pan said.
At one time, the Centers for Disease Control compiled and researched gun data, but since 1996 has self-imposed a ban on researching gun violence under pressure from Congress that the institution may lose funding.
Pan believes California would be served well to collect its own data.
“We can’t be scared of what the data will show us,” said Pan.
His bill is only one of a handful of gun control bills introduced just this week. AB 1674 would limit purchases of a shotgun or rifle to one per month.
Two separate bills, one in the Senate, SB 880, and another in the Assembly, AB 1674, seek to close what has become known as the "bullet button" loophole. Both bills seek to add semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the list of assault weapons banned in California.
“The shooter in San Bernardino used this kind of mechanism to reload quickly and continue his carnage. So it's a loophole that needs to be closed,” said State Senator Steve Glazer, author of the Senate’s version of the bill.
“What I'm proposing is modest in scope, but it's a small step that we can take,” Glazer said.
“Who's the politician who said never let a good tragedy go to waste? Well, that's exactly what we're looking at here,” said Craig Deluz, spokesperson for the Firearms Policy Coalition.
Deluz says this aggressive gun agenda following San Bernardino is a repeat of 2013 following Sandy Hook.
“Some of the things they're proposing are just as sweeping, and by the way, some of these same ideas were shot down,” said Deluz. "Basically what it does is it institutes an arbitrary limit on a constitutionally protected right.”
Deluz says he and other gun rights advocates will continue to fight, but there doesn’t seem to be any let up from lawmakers either.
While no bills have been introduced yet in 2016, there is talk among legislators of seeking to ban members of the "No Fly" list from purchasing a gun.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is seeking to implement background checks for all ammunition purchases and forcing gun owners to give up large capacity magazines through a ballot measure.