SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Californians buying guns from out-of-state sources would have to go through the same steps required for in-state purchases under a bill passed Wednesday by the state Assembly.
AB1609 advanced to the Senate on a 48-23 party-line vote.
Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, said he carried the bill in response to gun violence in his district and mass killings, including the weekend slayings in Santa Barbara.
“We don’t have to wait for another massacre,” Alejo said. “We can take action to pass sensible gun policies that protect our communities.”
He said firearms purchased in nearby states with loose regulations, including Nevada and Arizona, are making their way into the hands of criminals in California.
The bill would require that firearms imported from other states must be sent to a California dealer who would then run the required state checks on the buyers to make sure they comply with state rules.
Under current California regulations, gun purchasers must wait 10 days, undergo a background check and have safety training, with some exceptions.
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, said she has bought weapons from other states, and Californians already face hurdles in doing so. Those include registering with the Department of Justice and submitting fingerprints.
“It’s like buying a car from out of state: We have to register with the Department of Motor Vehicles and follow all the laws,” Grove said.
The California Rifle and Pistol Association called the bill an unnecessary measure.
“There are adequate California laws that prohibit the transfer of firearms without going through a licensed firearms dealer,” the organization wrote in opposition to the bill.
The measure would take effect in 2015 if eventually signed into law.
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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.