Weeks after New York enacted the nation's toughest gun laws,
California lawmakers said Thursday they want their state to do even more
in response to recent mass shootings, particularly the Connecticut
Democrats who control the state
Legislature revealed 10 proposals that they said would make California
the most restrictive state for possessing firearms.
were joined at a Capitol news conference by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with several police
"California has always been a leader on the issue
of gun safety," Villaraigosa said. "New York has stepped up and stepped
forward. California needs to answer the call."
measures is one that would outlaw the future sale of semi-automatic
rifles with detachable magazines. The restriction would prevent quick
reloading by requiring bullets to be loaded one at a time.
Lawmakers also want to make some prohibitions apply to current gun owners, not just to people who buy weapons in the future.
New York, California also would require background checks for buying
ammunition and would add to the list of prohibited weapons.
buying ammunition would have to pay a fee and undergo an initial
background check by the state Department of Justice, similar to what is
required now before buyers can purchase a weapon. Subsequent background
checks would be done instantly by an ammunition seller checking the
Justice Department's records.
The legislation also would
ban possession of magazines holding more than 10 bullets, even by those
who now own them legally. All weapons would have to be registered.
Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, promised that
gun proponents will fight the measures in court if they become law.
strikes me as if these folks are playing some sort of game of
one-upsmanship with New York at the expense of law-abiding citizens, and
that's just unconscionable," he said about lawmakers.
Republicans say the Democrats are exploiting the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary to push their own agendas, reports CBS Sacramento station KOVR-TV. "The laws they are (proposing) would have made no difference in the Connecticut shooting whatsoever," Sen. Dan Logue said.
added that lawmakers need to focus on other issues that lead to
violence. "We've got the issue of PlayStations, where there is violent
games," Logue said. "I mean, what about Hollywood and what they are
Three bills have been introduced, with others to come before this month's deadline for submitting legislation.
measures are the most stringent to date among numerous proposals
introduced this year to strengthen California's firearm regulations.
President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he is confident Democrats can
use their majorities in the Assembly and Senate to send the measures to
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown this year.
Brown has declined to comment on weapons legislation before it reaches him.
said the measures are designed to close numerous loopholes that gun
manufacturers have exploited to get around California's existing
Those measures had been the strongest in the nation until Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed New York's new law last month.
proposed measures in California would ban so-called "bullet buttons"
that can be used to quickly detach and reload magazines in
semi-automatic rifles, and update the legal definition of shotguns to
prohibit a new version that can rapidly fire shotgun shells and
The state also would restrict the
lending of guns to keep weapons from felons, mentally ill people and
others who are prohibited from ownership.