California's tough gun laws are getting stricter
- Author: Sidney Guerrero Jul 04, 2016,
Jul 04, 2016, 5:03
California, which already has some of the toughest gun restrictions in the nation, this week moved forward with a sweeping new package of gun control laws that underscores the power of the Democratically controlled state to carve its own path on the issue.
Melendez opposed all six gun control measures signed by the governor, as did Stone, Sen.
Brown, a Democrat, said the legislation represents a delicate balance.
Jerry Brown signed six gun control measures into law on Friday. States like Texas, in the name of promoting safety, have in recent years expanded the locations where people can carry concealed weapons, including bars and college campuses.
"Independence and freedom and liberty in California has been chopped down at the knees and kicked between the legs", said Sam Paredes, executive director of the advocacy group Gun Owners of California.
Gov. Jerry Brown, left, discusses a bill under consideration for his signature with Daniel Seeman, his deputy legislative affairs secretary Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. Brown spent his day reviewing some of the dozens of pieces of legislation approved by lawmakers before they left for a one month summer vacation. It extends a 1999 law that made it illegal to buy a high-capacity magazine or to bring one into the state but allowed people who already owned them to keep them. These rifles are used for self-defense, sporting, hunting, and target shooting. "Their sole objective is to kill as many people as possibly in the shortest period of time".
A separate bill banned semi-automatic weapons with "bullet buttons", which make it easy for a gunman to quickly remove a magazine and replace it with another.
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Brown signed Assembly Bills 1135, 1511 and 1695, as well as Senate Bills 880, 1235 and 1446.
The bills were passed by a legislature largely controlled by Democrats over the objections of the body's small Republican contingent. What they will do, she said, is compromise the rights of California families to protect themselves. "Nowhere in this nation do you give up your rights under any other amendments".
The California legislation perhaps shows the pressure the San Bernardino and Orlando attacks have put on political figures, as Brown rejected gun control legislation as recently as 2013 that would have banned the sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines. Some of the vetoed measures also appear in Newsom's initiative, giving voters a chance to overturn Brown's veto and protecting the initiative from becoming moot.
That initiative is being championed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who is running for governor after Brown's final term ends in 2018. In the House, Republicans are scheduling a vote this week on a bill that would give authorities three days to convince a judge that someone on a terror watch list should be barred from gun ownership, but Democrats have lined up opposition to the measure, seeing it as an empty bill crafted by the NRA.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence countered that the bill will rectify an "imprecise definition (in the California assault weapons ban) to evade the intent of the law..."
Attorney Andy Savage said Friday that his clients hope the litigation will lead to improvements in gun safety. "California gun sales are really high. We're doing a better job of making sure unsafe people don't have guns".