California Senate majority calls for federal action on gun control

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, second from left, glances to a pair of semi-automatic rifles as he discusses a package of proposed gun control legislation at a Capitol news conference Thursday. Also seen are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, third from left, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, second from right.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California may have the toughest gun laws in the country, but lax federal rules make the state vulnerable to people bringing assault rifles and other restricted weapons across the state line, according to a resolution signed by 21 state senators.

The resolution supported by the Senate majority urges President Obama and Congress to adopt a national ban on assault weapons and large ammunition magazines and to require a universal background check for all transfers of firearms.

“Because our borders are porous and only a small number of states regulate assault weapons and high-capacity assault magazines, states, like California, that take steps to protect their communities from these weapons are vulnerable to criminals who use those weapons without a comprehensive federal approach to curb gun violence,’’ says the resolution written by state Sen Lois Wolk (D-Davis).


Wolk also noted that authorities estimate 40% of firearm transfers are completed without a federal background check, including the transfer of semiautomatic firearms from private collections. She called on federal officials to plug that loophole and require background checks for transfers.

Senate Joint Resolution 1 is one of several measure put forward by California lawmakers in the wake of the shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.


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