California Senate leader, attorney general back gun-control bill
In the wake of the recent mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, the leader of the California Senate and the state attorney general said Monday they support a gun control bill aimed at making it harder to reload assault rifles.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris said the measure addresses weapons like those used in the movie theater shooting in Colorado last month that left 12 dead. Another gunman killed seven people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the weekend.
Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill that would prohibit semiautomatic rifles or kits with features that allow easy release and replacement of large ammunition clips, either through the push of a button with a finger or use of a tool.
"No one will convince me it's anything other than a joke to say that having multiple clips in a semiautomatic weapon that shoots a hundred or more bullets at a time is necessary in this state and in this country," Steinberg told reporters at the Capitol. "It’s ridiculous."
Harris said her office is ready to implement the proposed new rules. “In recent years, the gun industry has developed a loophole that undermines California's assault weapons law,” Harris said. “I applaud the Legislature's interest in addressing this problem and support efforts to pass legislation needed to restore the law's original intent."
However, SB 249 is opposed by gun owner groups as unnecessary. "It’s a knee-jerk reaction," said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. "Citizens in this state for the last t10 years have obeyed the law."
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris at a recent press conference. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images