Crime

California House Passes Five Gun-Control Bills

| by Nik Bonopartis

Spurred by the 2015 San Bernardino shootings, California lawmakers passed a package of gun control laws that expands the definition of assault rifles, limits the number of guns residents can buy per month, and enacts protocols to take guns away from people deemed a threat to others.

The gun package was approved by the state's assembly, its lower chamber, and must be approved by the state senate before it can be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, for a signature.

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Lawmakers passed the bill on June 1, the same day 39-year-old professor William S. Klug was killed by former-student Mainak Sarkar on UCLA's campus, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some, like Democratic state Rep. Paul Ting, said the shooting underscored the need for tougher gun laws in the state.

“Right now the rights that I care about are the rights to go to school and not get shot,” Ting said, according to the Times. “I don’t want to walk into my office and worry that I may be gunned down. Today’s shooting at UCLA was the 186th [school] shooting since Newtown, Conn., in 2012.”

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While police and family members can petition a judge to have guns taken away from people who are deemed a danger to others or have potential mental issues, the new law would allow employers, co-workers, teachers, school administrators and mental health professionals to petition courts for what are called gun-possession restraining orders, the Times reported.

The NRA criticized the legislation, saying it would make things more difficult for sports endeavors like high-power rifle competitions, would drown gun collectors in paperwork, and diminish due process for gun owners who are accused of being dangerous.

The group was especially critical of one part of the package that would arbitrarily restrict the number of guns a person can purchase.

This law, the NRA said, "will have no impact on criminal access to firearms and instead significantly hamper law abiding individuals, causing increased costs, time and paperwork to purchase multiple firearms. Criminals will continue to ignore this law purchasing firearms illegally, ignoring this burdensome and ineffective restriction."

Sources: Los Angeles Times [2], National Rifle Association / Photo credit: Guns & Ammo/​Wikimedia Commons

If the new gun laws pass, will they make California a safer place?
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