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O'Connell Bolstered by Defeat of Recall Effort

October 19, 1989

The handy defeat of the recall effort against Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) should inspire fellow legislators to vote their convictions on gun control without fear of reprisal from the gun lobby, the assemblyman said this week.

"I hope this demonstrates to my colleagues who feel threatened on this issue by gun advocates that they should adhere to good public policy," O'Connell said at a press conference called to announce the close of the recall effort against him.

A group calling itself the Ventura County Freedom Coalition began circulating petitions for a referendum to oust O'Connell from office after he voted in support of a bill banning the sale of assault weapons.

By the Oct. 12 deadline, the group had collected only 752 of the 23,717 signatures necessary to force a recall election.

Democratic Assemblymen Rusty Areias of Los Banos, Bruce Bronson of Fresno, Steve Clute of Riverside and Gerald R. Eaves of Rialto also face recall drives because of their positions favoring gun-control laws.

O'Connell urged legislators to support two gun-control bills now in the Assembly. One, AB 357, sponsored by Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles), bans the sale of 55 kinds of assault weapons. The other, AB 497, sponsored by Lloyd G. Connelly (D-Sacramento), mandates a 15-day waiting period for the purchase of any firearm.

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