Spurred by outrage over recent mass shootings, California lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a sweeping package of gun control bills, including a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, background checks for those buying ammunition and new restrictions on homemade firearms.
The flood of bills was introduced in response to the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 people at a holiday party, but momentum for action swelled after the June 12 mass shooting at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub that killed 49 people.
“The killer sprayed that nightclub with bullets,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said during the floor debate Thursday. “How could someone filled with so much hate have such easy access to ammunition?”
The measure from Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) has passed the Senate but now is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee awaiting action before would reach the Assembly floor. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass as well as the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown before it goes before voters.
Beall is aiming to get the measure approved by the Assembly committee prior to the Aug. 12 deadline for fiscal legislation, according to his office. Lawmakers have routinely bypassed normal election deadlines in years past to add proposals to the fall ballot late into the summer.
A bipartisan group of legislators sent Gov. Jerry Brown a $2-billion bond measure on Thursday that would provide housing for the homeless who suffer from mental illness.
The proposal, part of a plan unveiled by Senate Democrats in January, would fund new and refurbished housing in communities across California. The bonds will be repaid with proceeds from a tax on incomes above $1 million, approved by voters in 2004 to fund mental health programs.
“Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that finding permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless suffering from mental illness will improve the quality of life in our communities and give hope to thousands of Californians," said Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) in a statement.
An initiative that aims to speed up executions in California qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot on Thursday, making it one of two competing measures voters will weigh on the death penalty.
The Secretary of State’s Office said it was able to verify a random sample of signatures among the more than 593,000 collected.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, co-chair of the Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings Campaign, called it an important day for public safety and said the organization would work to kill the opposing ballot measure.
State lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill that would significantly expand a law that allows certain people to petition to the courts to confiscate guns from persons deemed to be dangerous.
Part of a large batch of gun-control measures expected to be acted on Thursday by the Legislature, the “gun violence restraining order” bill was given final legislative approval by the Senate after a debate in which supporters invoked the mass shootings in Orlando, Fla., and San Bernardino and Isla Vista.
The Isla Vista incident in 2014, in which a disturbed man killed six UC Santa Barbara students and wounded 13 others, resulted in a law that took effect in January that allows the police and family members to petition a court for a “gun violence restraining order,” removing firearms from persons they believe are dangerous for up to one year.
“The only thing that has changed is that David Valadao has exposed himself as a say-anything politician in deep trouble,” committee spokeswoman Barb Solish said in a statement. “Valadao’s words are too little, too late. Running from Trump is no longer an option, and Valadao must accept the reality that he is on the Trump ticket.”
Democrats have targeted Valadao’s heavily Latino Central Valley district as a potential pickup opportunity in the fall.
Nine California Republican House members are asking the Obama administration to reject California's application to extend benefits under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to those in the country illegally.