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Gov.’s surprise bill signings: Harvey Milk recognition, paparazzi restrictions and ammo tracking

Schwarz Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger surprised many people today by reversing himself on several pieces of legislation and signing bills similar to ones he had previously vetoed, including measures regulating ammunition sales and recognizing gay rights leader Harvey Milk. He also signed measures to regulate cosmetic surgery and the paparazzi, both introduced in response to incidents involving celebrities.

The Republican governor signed a bill, opposed by many conservatives, that requires sellers of handgun ammunition, starting in 2011, to keep a log of information on sales including the buyer's thumbprint, signature and driver's license data.

"Although I have previously vetoed legislation similar to this measure, local governments have demonstrated that requiring ammunition vendors to keep records on ammunition sales improves public safety,'' Schwarzenegger said in a statement on AB 962 by Assemblyman Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles).

Because the governor had vetoed other bills restricting guns this year, the executive of Gun Owners of California was baffled that the governor agreed to track ammunition sales.

"We think it was a devastating mistake,'' said Sam Paredes, executive director of the group representing 30,000 gun owners. Ammunition buyers, he said, "are going to be treated like registered sex offenders now.''

Paredes said he suspects the governor's surprising action on some bills was part of his effort "to line up votes on his water package.''

There was also strong reaction to the governor's approval of a measure proclaiming gay rights activist Harvey Milk's May 22 birthday as day of recognition and encouraging schools to consider commemorating his life.

The rights group Equality California praised Schwarzenegger for approving SB 572, the Milk bill, and SB 54, which recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states before California's November 2008 ban on gay marriage.

"Californians will now learn about Harvey's amazing contributions to the advancement of civil rights for decades to come," said Geoff Kors, the group's executive director.

But Randy Thomasson, president of the family values group SaveCalifornia.com, called the governor's action appalling, and said Milk "in no way was a good role model for impressionable schoolchildren."

In signing the same-sex marriage bill, the governor said there was uncertainty about how California should treat same-sex couples married out of state while such marriages were legal in California before the passage of Proposition 8.

The measure, Schwarzenegger said "honors the will of the people in enacting Proposition 8 while providing important protections to those unions legally entered into in other states.''

Other bills signed by the governor include:

--The Donda West Law, named after the mother of rap artist Kanye West, who died from complications after she underwent cosmetic surgery. AB 1116 by Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) prohibits elective cosmetic surgery unless the patient first is cleared by a physical examination.

--A measure aimed at reining in the paparazzi by making it a crime, punishable by a fine of up to $50,000, for a person to take and sell unauthorized photos of celebrities and others or their children in "personal or familial activity.'' AB 524 is by Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles.)

--Legislation that prohibits political candidates from paying their spouses or domestic partners to work on their campaigns. Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) authored SB 739 after he was criticized for hiring his wife on his campaign. Ross Johnson, chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said the bill was a step in the right direction. "It's just unseemly for a spouse or significant other of a candidate to be able to earn money from contributions," Johnson said.

The governor nixed a bill that would have extended the beverage recycling fee to additional containers, including fruit and vegetable juices and soy based drinks. "This expansion is inappropriate given that these products are often dietary necessities for families,'' Schwarzenegger wrote about SB 402 by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis).

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (18)

What a great way to bury your unpopular decisions–do it all on one day so the coverage is diffuse. Even though I mostly agree with his sign/veto choices I still think the tactic stinks.

That’s all good and great except for one large fact omitted from the story: criminals don’t buy their ammo at the local gun shop! They procure it during robberies and burglaries. So what exactly is this bill going to do to improve public safety? At what point will Democrats finally understand that criminals are criminals because they have no respect for the law? Pass all the gun control measures you want and the result will be an increase in crime as the average, law abiding citizen will have no means to protect themselves. Meanwhile, shocking as this may be, it will do NOTHING to curb criminals from procuring weapons and ammo!

No biggie, I'll just go to one of the neighboring states and buy as much ammo as I want from them. I'm sure their local economies will be much more appreciative of my dollars.

Fact is this law will doing absolutely nothing to gun violence. You think criminals buy guns legally? Of course not, and of course they will not buy ammo legally either.

This is a waste on tax payer money, and will be more of a waste when it goes into court for violation of federal interstate commerce laws.

I don't know what district DeLeon is in, but he's certainly not doing his constituents any favors by wasting his time on lousy legislation like this. How about something to create jobs maybe?

Way to seal your legacy as a pandering piece of crap, Scharzenkennedy, by allowing law-abiding purchasers of ammunition to be treated like felons.

Crime while under the influence of Alcohol.

Why doesn't the Governor, Schwarzenegger, have a bill to stop this too?
More crime is committed by people under the influence of alcohol. Weather it's a hit and run in Modesto, gay battering in West L.A., or a drive by shooting in San Diego many Californians committing crimes are under the influence of Alcohol.
Why not thumbprint drinkers?
Why not treat them like pedophiles too.

This is an attack on Americans right to self defense.
This stinks, and it's rotten to the core.

Thanks for nothing, Terminator.

What is wrong with all those people who support gay marriages. It is not acceptable to allow gays to have the same benifits of hetersexual couples. When everyone get upset a priests and child molesters sodomizing a child.
The child who has to go the trauma of being question by the police,social workers, pshycologist and judges what about his thinking when he hears about gays be allowed to marry.
what happen to him means nothing to all those who support gays. when you know that the butt is not design for sex.

regarding the ammunition bill: I just hope law-enforcemant actually uses this because I gotta tell ya, an awful lot of law-abiding types are going to have to go to a ridiculous amount of trouble to comply with this thing

Governor Schwarzenegger didn't surprise me. In the last year or so, he's acted more like a governor and less like a politician.

In other words, he's been speaking and acting on the truth about issues important to Californians. And of course many Californians now despise him for telling the truth.

I own two handguns. I had to learn the rules, pass a test, and pass a background check to buy them. Why would I object to having a record made when I buy bullets? Personally, I've never understood why I WASN'T required to identify myself when I bought ammunition. I'll feel better with the new law in place.

Glad I don't live there!

What a moron! This guy needs to stick to movies since he cannot run a state correctly! How in the world is recording personal information when you buy bullets going to stop a crime? Criminals do not go to Wal Mart etc and say "Hi, I would like to buy a gun and bullets!" DAH! Also, how would you stop crimes of passion or in the heat of the moment......oh wait, we can tell you bought ammo so we will follow you around! This is just another example of an out of control government and a screwed up state that is broke yet they want to tax you to death, and regualte and control you as well! This is why I call CA, Communist California! I am so glad that I do not live there anymore!

What next California? So now we recognise A homosexual pervert and teach kids that sodomy is OK? Hang on Charlie Manson, at this rate, you'll have your own special day soon. And then we'll fingerprint and register everyone who buys beer. Makes about as much sense as tracking ammunition. Way to go Arnold.

We could have had a Tom McClintock when we got rid of Davis. What fools we were to have elected Ted Kennedy's niece's husband instead. Thank God for term limits - although if Davis deserved impeachment (and he did), so does Arnold! Be sure to invite the rest of the 49 states when California has its bankruptcy estate sale - they may have money! Besides, there is only so much room in the U-Hauls leaving the state.

Why can't people get it through their thick, moronic skull-caps that regulating ammunition sales DOES NOT IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY. A 6-year-old kid Zachary brought a folding pocket knife to school....FOR WHAT? Cutting your salisbury steak lunch? Could've "accidentally" stabbed another kid while playing...College kids getting attacked/killed at school.

Does that improve public safety? NO....moron! Have more neighborhood watch programs or mind your fellow man/woman in public if in danger? maybe. Help out your fellow man and watch his back...and they should watch yours.

You know criminals will do this being they don't buy ammo they usually steal or buy it black market. Only keeping up with legal citizenry some more. Can't control them if you don't know what they're doing.

Actually I would suspect tracking ammo would be a great boon to catching criminals since if they know who bought the ammo its probably safe to say who used it if it turns up at the scene of a crime. Plus they'd be able to look into things like when a banker suddenly buys a case of ammunition for a sniper rifle they can keep an eye on him and probably stop him before he climbs the bell tower and starts sniping everyone.

Richard it is much more likely that ignoramuses like you are responsible for what those priests did. You see if those men had been allowed to live openly as homosexuals they might not have felt like they had to join the priesthood and sublimate their sexuality. If some of these men hadn't been too ashamed to express their sexuality in a healthy way they might not have become monsters. Harvey Milk is a man who stood up for what he believed in no matter what even though it cost him his life, like Martin Luther King Jr. he is an inspiration to us all.

Are criminals buying their weapons and ammunition legally? I don't know to tell you the truth, and no one here has cited any source that shows that they're NOT buying their ammunition legally, but I don't think it really matters. The real question is whether or not they are they committing their murders and robberies and rapes legally. Chances are that if they're willing to break laws against murder, robbery and rape, etc., they're not going to have a real hard time doing whatever they have to do to skirt the law to get ammunition.

VOTE MCCLINTOCK FOR GOVERNOR, 2003! Oh wait, never mind, he's not "cool" like the other guy.

So Mr Schwarzenegger caved in to the homosexuals, coward. I don't care if people want to be gay, that's their business. But to give this man the same status as presidents, our military is an out rage, making him a hero? And further more having this in schools and teaching our kids this sickness that being gay is normal. I am deeply disappointed in Mr Schwarzenegger I thought he had more intergrity and honor than that. What a shame he gave in to these sick O's.


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