State Democrats Pushing For Nation’s Toughest Gun Laws
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Calling the Newtown, Conneticut shooting the “tipping point,” Democrats up and down California hope to pass new tougher gun laws.
Democrats, who control the state legislature, revealed 10 proposals on Thursday that they said would make California the most restrictive state for possessing firearms.
They were joined at a Capitol news conference by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several city police chiefs.
“This issue of guns and gun violence is not just a public safety issue, it’s a public health issue,” Villaraigosa said.
Democratic leaders are hoping to pass 10 bills that all aim to bring down gun violence. They hope to limit the sale of semi-automatic rifles with removable clips, regulate ammunition sales and strengthen rules that block felons and the mentally ill from buying weapons.
California would require background checks for buying ammunition as it does now with buying guns.
“I think it will make a real difference,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said. “There is no single answer, but these bills would represent the toughest measures in the nation.”
But Republicans say the Democrats are exploiting the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary to push their own agendas.
“The laws they are passing, the ones he is pushing, would have made no difference in the Connecticut shooting whatsoever,” Sen. Dan Logue said.
He added that lawmakers need to focus on other issues that lead to violence.
“We’ve go the issue of PlayStations where there is violent games,” Logue said. “I mean what about Hollywood and what they are putting out?”
The bills have a good chance of passing through as only a majority approval is needed and the Democrats control the House and the Senate. But Logue hopes the governor will not sign the bills.
Brown has declined to comment on weapons legislation before it reaches him.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)