Group of Gun Control Bills Move Forward

California Connection
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SACRAMENTO -- Following the shooting massacre in Orlando that killed 49 people, California's state legislature is moving 11 gun reform bills forward.

Tuesday, all but one received a hearing and a vote pushing each one a step closer to becoming law.

Hearings went on throughout the day in both the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees.

Among the most contentious were two Senate bills authored by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon that a) requires gun manufacturers to apply to the Department of Justice for a serial number, and b) creates a registry and licensing framework for people buying and selling ammunition.

A senate bill authored by Loni Hancock, a Democrat from Oakland, prohibits the possession of large capacity magazines in California. Other pieces of legislation limit gun buyers to one firearm purchase a month and criminalize failure to report a stolen gun.

Even though the bills were slated for hearings before the mass shooting in Orlando, Assemblyman Rob Bonta says it’s impossible to ignore the tragedy when contemplating which way to vote.

"They have to consider Orlando and think about what we could've done to save lives there,” said Bonta.

His bill makes it a misdemeanor to falsely report a stolen gun, which he says people often do after selling a gun to an illegal buyer.

"I don't need to talk about what happened this past Sunday, where an individual went into a nightclub and took innocent people's lives,” said Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a Democrat from the South Bay.

Gipson sponsored a bill to redefine firearms to include raw materials, which he claims people use for illegal homemade guns or unregistered/unlicensed “ghost guns.” He too invoked Orlando.

"It can happen to Sacramento and other cities. So we can't do nothing, nothing is not an option,” said Gipson.

"Democrats in the state of California are definitely not letting a good tragedy go to waste,” said Craig Deluze, a spokesperson for the California Firearm Policy Coalition.

For every gun control measure brought up Tuesday, there was a counterargument from gun rights advocates.

"This is another bill that only impacts law-abiding citizens,” said Roy Griffith with the National Rifle Association.

"They bring up these tragedies, and they never ever, ever point to how their bill will help stop that tragedy,” said Deluze.

Critics of the package of bills say over-regulating only hurts legal gun owners.

But lawmakers are adamant that every little step toward preventing the next mass shooting is worth a vote.

"If it could've helped, if it would've made it more probable that it could've been prevented, less likely that it would've happened, that's a good thing. That's what we should be moving forward,” said Bonta.

Of the 11 gun control bills, the one that did not receive a vote Tuesday was Senate Bill 1006, authored by Senator Lois Wolk, which would provide funding to UC schools to do research on gun violence.

Members of Wolk’s office say the bill will be included in the state budget bill.


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