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Lawmaker drops effort to arm California legislators

April 5, 2011 |  3:13 pm

A bill to streamline California’s gun-permit process has been stripped of a controversial provision that would have made it easier for lawmakers to get permits.

Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) said he agreed to drop the provision for now, but hopes to revisit the idea later.

"I look forward to having a debate on the issue," Wright said in a statement. "The recent news in Wisconsin of threats to legislators only supports the basic premise of the bill."

The rest of the bill, which sets tight deadlines for sheriffs and police chiefs to act on concealed-weapon permit applications, was approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The vote came after the state Assembly’s chief sergeant-at-arms said his officers have begun to routinely carry .40-caliber semi-automatic weapons to protect legislators.

Concealed-weapons permits are only issued to Californians who show "good cause," such as threats of violence. Wright had sought to establish good cause for elected officials "for protection or self-defense."

Opponents objected to providing special treatment for legislators. Other professionals, including teachers and parking enforcement officers, could make the same argument, they said.

-- Patrick McGreevy