California already has a reputation as one of the strictest gun control states in the U.S., and it looks as though it’s about to get a lot worse. More than 30 gun control bills are in the works in the Golden State; many of them are expected to hit Governor Jerry Brown’s desk sometime this summer.
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrel Steinberg (D) said, “These are common sense bills that will save lives.”
These bills include:
SB108: Requires gun owners to lock away firearms when the owner is not present.
AB187: Establishes a 10 percent tax on ammunition sales.
AB760: Establishes a nickel-per-bullet tax. In many cases, this tax would be more expensive than the bullets themselves.
AB231: Makes it a crime to store a firearm in any location where a person under the age of 14 can have access to it.
SB53: Requires people buying ammunition to endure a background check, get a permit, and pay a fee.
Steinberg also has his sights set on assault rifles. SB374 would prohibit any sort of transaction that involves a semi-automatic firearm that can accept detachable magazines. Steinberg said, “You can spray more bullets a lot faster, killing or hurting a lot more people.”
Many of these bills are still a long way off from becoming laws, but there isn’t much that can stop them. Sam Paredes of the Gun Owners of California stated, “We don’t have the votes in either house. We know it. We are realistic about it.” Gun rights supporters haven’t given up hope completely – Paredes acknowledged that gun advocates might be able to knock down the laws in court through Second Amendment challenges.
The gun rights advocates do have a few supporters in the legislature, such as Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R), but they’re grossly outnumbered. Melendez complained that even the Republicans aren’t putting up enough of a fight. “Republicans think the answer is to tighten up the laws we have. Democrats want even more gun control,” she said. “Punishing law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to own guns is far from the right solution.”
Ultimately, it will be up to Governor Brown to make the final decision. With Brown's mixed stance on gun control, the fate of these bills are, as Paredes put it, up to "a toss of the coin.”
Source: UT San Diego