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Skelton: California Republican blazed path on gun control

January 7, 2013 |  7:00 am

Gov. George Deukmejian

SkeltonThe country's first assault weapons ban was in California, and it was signed into law by a Republican.

In Monday's column, George Skelton says then-Gov. George Deukmejian's actions nearly 24 years ago are a model for what should be done nationally.

Deukmejian was able to win his first term in office by opposing a strict handgun ban. But after a racist drifter killed five children with an AK-47 at a Stockton schoolyard, he changed course.

"My thoughts simply were that regardless of what argument somebody might make about having the right to own and possess a gun, there was no common sense reason for someone to have an assault weapon," the former governor, now 84, told Skelton.

Deukmejian now supports U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's effort to reinstate the country's assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

All of Skelton's columns are here.

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Photo: Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, vote in Long Beach in 1982. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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