News

Monday, February 11, 2019

As excerpted from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Background checks for ammunition sales. A lifetime gun ownership ban on anyone convicted of domestic violence. A sales limit of one gun per person per month.

Those are among the restrictive new laws and proposals that could reduce gun violence in California. The state already has stricter gun-control laws than most; legislators said this week they hope to position their state as a model for the rest of the nation.

“We have the political ingredients that they don’t necessarily have in every state," Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, a Los Angeles-area Democrat and inaugural member of a gun-violence prevention group among lawmakers, said in an interview Friday. “We understand that we can push the envelope on policy-making a little bit, and we think, hopefully, as we demonstrate results, as we show different ideas that are working, that other states will look to California and copy our regulatory framework.”

The laws passed in California echo those enacted in New Jersey, another state with many gun restrictions: ways to regulate guns by regulating things related to them, such as ammunition and accessories, and who has them.

“By setting these higher standards for gun safety, New Jersey continues to bolster its reputation as a national leader on this critical social and public health issue,” Gov. Phil Murphy said when he signed six new gun laws in June.

For nearly a decade, even as mass shootings and gun violence spiked, the Republican-controlled Congress has not enacted any new national laws to address either problem. So the battle has shifted from the Capitol to the statehouses. Since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, gun control advocates in state capitals across the country have passed targeted and sometimes inventive laws to expand gun regulations within their borders.

“Change doesn’t appear out of thin air. It starts somewhere,” said Nico Bocour, state legislative director for Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, the gun-control group that teamed with Gabriel and other California legislators for a news conference last week announcing their working group. “States like California and New Jersey have been able to pass forward-looking policies that are proven to work. They have set the bar and given other state legislatures a road map to follow.”

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California lawmakers are considering a move to expand their protection-order law and to train law enforcement in its use. Gabriel and his colleagues also plan to push bills to fund and expand gun-violence prevention programs, require safe gun storage, and limit gun purchases to one per person per month, among other things. With a Democratic majority in the legislature and a new governor, they believe their prospects are good.

“I don’t know that Pennsylvania has the will to do them yet, but I hope that we can learn from them,” CeaseFirePA director Shira Goodman said of California’s laws.

Stephens, the Montgomery County Republican, cautioned that there’s unlikely to be a rush to follow the Golden State.

“I don’t think there are too many people in my caucus who are looking to follow California’s lead on firearm policy,” he said. He said he was compelled to push for the extreme-risk protection orders because of the data he’d seen out of other states, not because California or others had enacted it.

Still, advocates hope changing norms nationwide will put their proposals in perspective.

Asked whether he thought actions by other states could help move the needle here, McCarter said: “I would surely hope so.”

Saturday, February 9, 2019

As excerpted from the Times of San Diego

California already has 109 laws on the books that regulate the use of firearms, more gun-control rules than any other state. More, it seems, are on the way.

Last week an all-Democratic contingent of lawmakers announced plans to send a raft of new gun-related bills to the governor before the end of the legislative session. The 16 lawmakers were joined by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a gun control advocate and mass shooting survivor, along with representatives of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

With Democrats now wielding unprecedented political power in Sacramento and with the recent election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who embraces his role as public enemy of the National Rifle Association, the time seems ripe for a new legislative push.

“We have expanded Democratic majorities in both houses, we have a bright and ambitious new governor with a real track record on this issue,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel of Encino, who helped form the “gun violence working group” with Berkeley Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks. “We have a special opportunity here in California to draft some forward-thinking, meaningful, evidence-based legislation that is going to help end mass shootings and end gun violence.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A group of 16 Democratic lawmakers in California are banding together for stricter gun laws. At the state capitol this week, Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel of San Fernando Valley announced the group and said it aims to craft new legislation:

The group of lawmakers is created from the Assembly and Senate. Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona joined the group for a round table Monday to discuss mass shootings and officially endorse the group. She is a survivor from a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona. Assemblymen Gabriel said California cannot wait for Washington to pass common-sense gun laws that will protect schools, families and communities.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

As excerpted from US News & World Report

DEMOCRATIC California lawmakers joined former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona Monday to announce the creation of a gun violence working group.

The group, comprised of 16 members of both the state Assembly and state senate, met with Giffords, who survived a mass shooting in 2011, for a roundtable before they held the press conference.

The lawmakers have voiced concern over Washington's lack of response to the nation's growing gun violence and are proposing laws such as new taxes on firearms and monthly limits on gun purchases, according to Courthouse News Service.

"Thoughts and prayers from Washington won't keep our kids safe," Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel said Monday. "What we need are common-sense gun laws that will protect our schools, our families and our communities."

Monday, February 4, 2019

As excerpted from the Los Angeles Times

Sixteen California lawmakers met Monday with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was gravely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, and agreed to form a working group to develop and pass gun control laws that can serve as a model for other states and the nation.

The working group will put together a package of gun laws, including new taxes on firearms for anti-violence programs, and submit them to Gov. Gavin Newsom for approval.

The Democratic state legislators said they are frustrated by inaction in Washington on the issue of gun violence and are hopeful that Newsom will be sympathetic to their efforts to further restrict the availability of firearms in California.

“Thoughts and prayers from Washington won’t keep our kids safe,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel of Van Nuys after the closed-door meeting with Giffords. “What we need are common-sense gun laws that will protect our schools, our families and our communities.”