An Assembly committee has narrowly approved legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of handguns and to require people who already possess handguns to obtain state licenses, effective next Jan. 1. A 4-3 vote sent the bill (AB 3210) by Assemblyman Terry B. Friedman (D-Brentwood) from the Public Safety Committee to the Ways and Means Committee.
Strongly opposed by the National Rifle Assn., the measure also provides that individuals who already have handguns and do not wish to obtain licenses can voluntarily turn the guns in to local law enforcement agencies and receive $100 each.
"Random gun violence is ruining our way of life," Friedman said. "Law-abiding citizens and the police don't stand a chance against criminals and gangs armed with inexpensive but deadly handguns. The madness has got to stop."
* Signed into law a bill (SB 29) by Sen. Ken Maddy (R-Fresno) allowing bettors at California satellite wagering facilities to bet on the full card of all races at Triple Crown events.
* Attorney Lobbyists: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 73-0 vote a bill (AB 3432) by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) authorizing cities and counties to require attorneys who are lobbyists to register and report details of their lobbying activities.
* Slot Machines: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 42-20 vote a bill (AB 3256) by Assemblywoman Julie Bornstein (D-Palm Desert) making it legal to transport or possess a slot machine for display at a trade show or convention if the machine is not to be used to gamble.
* Rape Cases: The Public Safety Committee has approved a bill (AB 83X) by Assemblywoman Diane Martinez (D-Rosemead) that says what a rape victim was wearing, such as a miniskirt or a low-cut blouse, cannot be used in court as evidence of giving consent. A 4-0 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor.
* Concealed Firearms: The Ways and Means Committee approved a bill (AB 3499) by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) requiring minors convicted of carrying concealed firearms to do 100 hours of community service and lose their driver's license until age 18, in addition to court-ordered punishment. A 21-0 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor.
* Price Gouging: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 36-0 vote a bill (SB 1538) by Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) making it a misdemeanor to sell retail goods for more than 10% of what they cost before a state of emergency proclamation. This bill was sparked by Los Angeles-area price gouging that occurred after the Northridge earthquake.
* Child Seat Belts: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 24-7 vote a bill (SB 2004) by Sen. Nicholas C. Petris (D-Oakland) increasing fines from $20 and $50 to $50 and $100, respectively, for first and subsequent offenses of transporting children ages 4 to 12 without automobile seat belts.
* Charter Schools: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 26-1 vote a bill (SB 1891) by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) allowing the Los Angeles Unified School District to double the number of charter schools to 20. Charter schools can offer an innovative curriculum to students, utilizing specialized teaching methods, with a minimum of state supervision.
* Imitation Guns: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 28-0 vote a bill (SB 1645) by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) adding possession of an imitation firearm to the list of acts for which a school student can be expelled or expended.