SACRAMENTO -- Governor Jerry Brown took action on 11 gun-related bills Friday morning, signing six into law and vetoing five others. This, as California lawmakers have been working to pass more than a dozen new gun measures, reaffirming California's position as one of the strictest gun law states in the country.
Reaction on both sides of the issue, however, couldn't have been more different.
"Our governor and our policy makers in California have kicked the law abiding public squarely between the legs and chopped them off at their knees,” said Sam Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Gonzales, Co-Director of the Sacramento Area Brady Campaign, told FOX40 "We were very happy, especially that he signed SB 1235."
That was the signature piece of legislation, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon's bill that creates a system of background checks and a database for people who buy ammunition. It was widely seen as the most crucial of 13 California gun control bills.
"Especially if you find a prohibited person who is purchasing massive amounts of ammunition. That would be a real red flag,” Gonzales said.
The other laws that were signed into effect will do the following:
- SB 1446 – Prohibits the possession of large capacity magazines.
- AB 1511 – Prohibits people from lending a gun to anyone outside immediate family members.
- AB 1135 – Closes the “bullet button” loophole by making assault weapons that can be modified illegal.
- AB 1695 – Criminalizes falsely reporting a stolen gun, to discourage “straw sales” or illegal, off the books gun sales.
- SB 880 – Closes “Bullet Button” loophole and requires existing weapons that fit that description to be registered.
Paredes, who wasn't happy with the outcome, says all of the bills infringe on Californians’ Second Amendment rights. "There were none that were acceptable. Each of the bills only affected law abiding citizens."
Assemblyman Jim Cooper was disappointed for a different reason. His bill, which makes it a felony to steal a gun, was vetoed. It was the only gun bill with bipartisan support.
"So you break into someone's house and steal a gun, it's a misdemeanor. You steal a laptop computer, an IPad Pro, it's a felony,” said Cooper, who added he wrote the bill in response to California’s Prop. 47.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who authored the bill to address "straw sales," says he hopes California's effort to curb gun violence sends a message to lawmakers in Washington D.C., who'll take up similar votes in the upcoming weeks.
"California has led in the past. I'm proud it's leading again. We're a model for the rest of the nation,” said Bonta.
Many of the gun measures that Governor Brown signed into law are the same measures on Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s ballot initiative which voters will approve or reject in November.
Newsom released the following statement in response to the six gun bills signed into law:
"I’m pleased that the Governor took meaningful action to reduce gun violence. Now, with the Safety for All initiative, voters will finally have a chance to take matters into their own hands and keep the momentum going with bold reforms that build on these achievements and go well beyond. Today’s steps in the right direction will grow into a giant leap forward for public safety if voters pass the Safety for All initiative to keep guns and ammo out of the wrong hands."