Among the bills, Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) called for outlawing possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines over 10 rounds. The sale of such magazines had been banned, but Hancock said some possessors of the clips have been able to escape prosecution by claiming they were purchased before the law was changed.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) proposed a ban on the future sale, purchase and manufacture in California of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines. "The truth of the matter is that we can save many lives by curbing the proliferation of rapid-fire weapons," Steinberg told reporters at the Capitol. "We can save lives by getting guns out of the hands of people who should not have them."
The latest gun bills are in response to the December killing of 20 children and six adults by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Other measures would boost funding for efforts to confiscate guns from people convicted of felonies and require anyone buying ammunition to get a permit and undergo a background check.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined the legislators at a Capitol news conference to endorse the additional gun controls. "This Senate package builds on California’s strong record and takes the next step with smart policies that close loopholes that have remained open for too long," Villaraigosa said.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Senate leader Darrell Steinberg is shown a semi-automatic rifle during a recent legislative hearing on gun violence. Credit: Steve
Yeater / Associated Press