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California Senate OKs 7 Sweeping Gun Control Bills

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The California Senate recently approved a package of seven gun control bills. SB 53, one of the most controversial bills, would require background checks on all ammunition purchases.

Sen. Kevin De Leon (D), the bill’s author, explained that SB 53 would “ensure that criminals and other dangerous individuals cannot purchase ammunition in the state of California.” He added, “To purchase a product that has the potential to maim or kill another human being you can walk into a gun store, no questions asked. I think that’s a little outrageous.”

This bill would bump the price of ammo by about $50 in order to cover the background check fee.

"We all can recite the horrific acts that have occurred in our country over the last year," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D). "These bills attempt to respond to those well-publicized tragedies and many more that go unpublicized."

The bill faced fierce opposition in the 22-14 vote. Four Democrats voted against SB 53, including Sen. Roderick Wright. He argued, “Implied in [the Second Amendment] is the right to buy the ammo to go with it.”

Republican Senator Jim Nielsen agreed with his colleague, stating, “We are criminalizing legal, historic behavior in the state of California and putting onerous burdens and regulations and requirements on law-abiding citizens.”

The other bills would outlaw detachable magazines and “bullet buttons,” reclassify shotguns as assault weapons, require all firearm owners to take a gun safety class, prohibit magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammo, and beef-up criminal penalties to include a 10-year ban on owning or buying firearms for offenders.  

From here, the bills will move to the Democratic-controlled Assembly, where they will likely receive a warm welcome.

If the bills pass the Assembly, there’s a good chance that Democratic Governor Jerry Brown will give at least some of the bills his seal of approval. Earlier this month, he signed into law a bill that helps the state seize firearms from the mentally ill. 

Sources: USA Today, LA Times

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