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California Senate approves measures aimed at reducing gun violence

May 16, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Connecticut State Police lead a line of children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., after a mass shooting at the school.
Connecticut State Police lead a line of children from the Sandy Hook Elementary… (Shannon Hicks / Associated…)

SACRAMENTO --The state Senate approved two bills Thursday introduced following the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, including one requiring gun owners to keep their firearms in locked safe-boxes if they live with someone prohibited from using guns.

Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) citied the killing of 20 children and six adults at the Newtown school in arguing for his bill requiring guns to be locked away when someone in the house has a criminal record or mental illness that prohibits possession of a firearm.

In the Connecticut shooting, Adam Lanza took his mother's firearms and used them to kill his mother, then kill children and adults at the school, Wright said.

Lanza had not been prohibited by law from owning a gun because of his mental condition, but the shooting still might have been prevented "had she [mother] secured the weapons better," Wright said.

SB 363 provides for up to three years in jail and a fine up to $10,000 if someone is convicted of allowing access to guns to a person prohibited by state law from possessing firearms, and if those firearms are used in cases where death or great bodily injury occur.

The measure was opposed by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, which argued many citizens have firearms in their homes for protection “and that having these firearms always locked up or with trigger locks because there may be a prohibited person in the house defeats this purpose.”

The Senate also approved a measure by Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) aimed at reducing violence by allowing school districts to include lessons on violence awareness, including the impact of violent films and video games, in high school.

"Through education, I believe we can make young minds more aware of how they and our society are affected by the seemingly endless exposure to violence,” Calderon said on the Senate floor.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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