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Lawmakers send tough gun control bills to the governor

September 12, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, second from left, glances to a pair of semiautomatic rifles as he discusses a package of proposed gun control legislation earlier this year.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, second from left, glances… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers late Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown bills that would outlaw the sale of rifles with detachable magazines and expand the list of crimes that result in a 10-year ban on possessing firearms.

Thursday’s action follows the approval of nine other gun control bills earlier in the week in a state that already had some of the toughest restrictions in the nation.

The gun bills are part of a package of several measures introduced in response to the shooting death of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year.

The state Senate voted Thursday to approve one of the most controversial bills in the package.

SB 374 would ban future sales of semiautomatic rifles that have detachable magazines. Those who already own  assault weapons without fixed magazines would be required to register them with the state by July 1, 2014.

Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said his bill was necessary to strengthen California’s decades-old ban on assault rifles.

Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) opposed the measure, saying it and the other bills combine to  “help criminals and hurt law abiding citizens. This is an unwarranted attack on hunters in this state and will do nothing to deter crime.”

Countered Steinberg: “Do law abiding citizens need guns that can shoot 50 to 100 to 200 rounds at one time?” 

The measure is supported by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Opponents include the National Rifle Assn. and California Assn. of Firearms Retailers.

The Senate also gave final legislative approval Thursday to a measure by state Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) that would expand the list of crimes that can disqualify Californians from possessing guns.

Currently, certain misdemeanors involving violence can result in a 10-year ban.

Wolk's SB 755 would extend the ban to those convicted twice in three years of crimes that include being under the influence of a controlled drug, driving while intoxicated, public intoxication and possession or sale of some controlled substances and ketamine. Those disqualified who violate the 10-year ban face a fine of up to $250.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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