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6 New Gun Control Laws Enacted In California, As Gov. Brown Signs Bills

6 New Gun Control Laws Enacted In California, As Gov. Brown Signs Bills

Postby smix » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:31 pm

6 New Gun Control Laws Enacted In California, As Gov. Brown Signs Bills
NPR

URL: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... igns-bills
Category: Politics
Published: July 1, 2016

Description: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed new gun control legislation for California, enacting bills that limit magazine capacity to 10 bullets; require a background check for those purchasing ammunition; and restrict the lending of firearms, among other effects. In signing the bills, Brown said he wants "to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners." Two of the bills close the "bullet button loophole," as member station KPCC reports: "The loophole refers to the sale of 'California legal' firearms that don't fall under California's ban of guns with detachable magazines. "To get around the law, manufacturers created versions of firearms that feature a button that can be pushed with a small tool — for instance the tip of a bullet — to release an empty magazine and insert a new one." Another bill that will now become law tries to limit "straw purchasing," the practice of a person buying a gun legally with the intent of giving or selling the weapon to someone else. In addition to making it a misdemeanor to file a false report about a gun being lost or stolen, the new law will prohibit the purchaser from buying another gun for 10 years. As KPCC reminds us, the classification of a gun as an "assault weapon" is a legal designation in California: "Legislators established the 'assault weapon' as a new classification of firearm in 1989. Following a court challenge in 2000, the law was upheld. Gun owners could keep their assault weapons provided they registered with the state before Jan. 23, 2001." The legislation was signed almost exactly seven months after husband-and-wife shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. In April, a relative of the murderers was charged with providing the guns they used. All of the bills Brown signed were sponsored by Democrats — and so were the five bills that he vetoed, although one of those, which makes it a felony to steal a gun, was also sponsored by Republican Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez. In rejecting that bill, Brown said a similar measure is already slated to appear as a state ballot issue in November. Brown vetoed another bill that would make it a misdemeanor not to report the loss or theft of a gun, saying he doesn't believe the measure would help stop gun traffickers. He added that the bill wouldn't make irresponsible people become responsible. Another bill that sought to classify the body of a firearm as a firearm, thus closing a loophole that has allowed unfinished gun frames or receivers to be sold under less scrutiny than a finished gun would require, was deemed to have wording that was too vague.
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California Governor Signs Legislation Limiting Assault Weapons

Postby smix » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:43 pm

California Governor Signs Legislation Limiting Assault Weapons
The New York Times

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/us/ca ... brown.html
Category: Politics
Published: July 1, 2016

Description: LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that would impose new restrictions on assault weapons and regulate the sale of ammunition in California, cementing the state’s reputation for enacting some of the most stringent gun regulations in the country. Spurred by revulsion with mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., the far-reaching gun regulations are the latest example of how this state, whose Legislature is under Democratic control, has been able to enact a legislative agenda on issues that have created deadlocks in Congress and other statehouses. Even as he signed six measures, Mr. Brown, a moderate Democrat with a history of resistance to some efforts to regulate guns, vetoed five others that he described as overly regulative. Among them was a bill that would have restricted gun purchases to no more than one in a 30-day period. “My goal in signing these bills is to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law abiding gun owners,” Mr. Brown, who owns guns himself, said in his signing message. The legislation in Sacramento was passed with overwhelming Democratic support and was largely opposed by Republicans who make up a small minority in the Senate and Assembly. Amanda Wilcox, legislative advocate for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, hailed the governor’s action as another step forward in California’s efforts to curb gun violence. She highlighted one bill sponsored by Senator Kevin de León, the Senate Democratic leader, requiring background checks for ammunition purchases, as particularly crucial. “It is really far-reaching and bold, and really has the potential to save a lot of lives,” she said. “It can give us a handle on who has illegal guns in the state, as well as limiting access to ammunition by dangerous people who may have illegal guns.” The National Rifle Association denounced the signing as a “draconian gun control package that turns California’s law-abiding gun owners into second-class citizens.” “The governor and Legislature exploited a terrorist attack to push these measures through even though the state’s already restrictive laws did nothing to stop the attack in San Bernardino,” said Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the N.R.A. “These bills make no one safer, they only add another layer of laws that criminals will continue to break.” The new laws would prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines — those holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition — for assault weapons. “These so-called high-capacity magazines are not for target shooting or hunting,” said Senator Loni Hancock, a Democrat who sponsored the bill. “Their sole purpose is to kill as many people as possibly in the shortest period of time.” A separate bill banned semiautomatic weapons with “bullet buttons,” which make it easy for a gunman to quickly remove a magazine and replace it with another. Among the bills Mr. Brown vetoed was one that would expand the definition of a firearm. “While I appreciate the author’s intent, the actual wording of the bill is unduly vague and could have far-reaching and unintended consequences,” Mr. Brown wrote in his veto message. Republicans called the measures a burden to law-abiding gun owners. Shannon Grove, a Republican Assembly member who spoke against the bills during the debate, said that none of the measures signed would reduce gun violence or prevent mass shootings. What they will do, she said, is compromise the rights of California families to protect themselves. “I think it’s death by 1,000 paper cuts for our Second Amendment rights,” she said. “Nowhere in this nation do you give up your rights under any other amendments.” This apparently is not the end of gun control measures propelled by the wave of violence that has traumatized the world and the nation, including the shooting in San Bernardino, in Southern California, that resulted in the deaths of 14 people attending a holiday party in December. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who is running for governor after Mr. Brown’s final term ends in 2018, said he would press ahead with a voter initiative this November that expands on the restrictions included in the legislation. His initiative would, among other things, make firearm theft a felony and require ammunition vendors to report lost or stolen supplies within 48 hours. “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,” Mr. Newsom said. Gun death rates fell 56 percent in California from 1993 and 2010, a larger decline than in the nation as a whole, according to a study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Gun laws work,” Ms. Wilcox said. “California gun sales are really high. We are not deterring law-abiding people from buying guns. We’re doing a better job of making sure dangerous people don’t have guns.”
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