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Gov. Brown bans lead ammo in hunting, vetoes other gun control bills

October 11, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed 11 gun control bills including a ban on the use of lead bullets by hunters, but vetoed seven measures restricting firearms that were introduced in response to the massacre last year at a Connecticut elementary school.

Brown rejected a proposal to ban the sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, and bills that would have expanded the list of crimes that would bar the offender from firearms possession. He signed bills requiring more safety training for gun owners and better tracking of guns that are lost or stolen.

The ban on lead bullets was proposed by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) because the substance is toxic and can poison those who eat animals shot with the ammunition.

“We are thrilled that Governor Brown has made AB 711 the law of the land,” Rendon said in a statement. “There is simply no reason to continue using lead ammunition in hunting when it poses a significant risk to human health and the environment.” That bill goes into effect in July 2019.

The one bill singled out for a possible lawsuit by the National Rifle Assn. had been passed would have banned the future manufacture, importation and sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, and require those who already own such guns to register them.

Brown said California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, including an assault weapons ban. The ban on rifles with detachable magazines goes too far, he said in a veto message, because it would outlaw the sale of guns used by hunters and marksmen.

“I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semiautomatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights,” Brown said.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced the bill to plug a loophole in the state’s assault weapons ban by preventing rapid reloading through the use of replaceable magazines.

“There is no legitimate reason for hunters or sportsmen and women to have battlefield-style rifles that can quickly spray dozens and dozens of rounds through the rapid reloading of detachable magazines,” Steinberg said, noting those kinds of weapons have been used in some recent mass killings.

Those who own such guns would have had to register them as an assault weapon by July 1, 2015, under SB 374.

Steinberg’s bill was one of several measures packaged under Senate Democrats’ proposed Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement Act, or LIFE Act, introduced in response to the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adults.

Another of those bills, also vetoed by Brown, would have expanded the list of people prohibited from possessing guns for 10 years to include those convicted twice in a three-year period of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, public intoxication, and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) introduced SB 755 because of concern that people with drug or alcohol problems may use guns more irresponsibly. The governor signed a bill that will prohibit gun ownership by people who make serious threats to psychoanalysts. AB 1131 is by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley)

Brown also signed a measure requiring the same gun safety certification for owners of long guns that is already required for handgun owners. Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego) introduced that bill, SB 683.

“It makes sense to require familiarity with long gun safety and storage, just as we do for handgun purchasers,” Block said.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com


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