Some good legislation is being considered in the states. Here are the latest developments in New York, California, and Massachusetts:
In New York, a State Senate committee is considering a microstamping bill (it passed the House earlier this session). See today’s The New York Times editorial on the legislation:
The Senate’s Codes Committee, which deals with criminal justice issues, is scheduled to take up the measure on Tuesday. Committee members should approve it, and Democratic leaders should then quickly bring the bill to a full vote.
More than 1,000 murders have gone unsolved in New York over the past five years. Senators who oppose this bill will need to explain to voters why they would deny police departments critical information that would help apprehend murderers and other violent criminals.”
Read full editorial here.
In California, the State Assembly passed two good bills last week. The Associated Press reported on the bill prohibiting the open carry of handguns:
Citing safety concerns, the Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would make it illegal to openly carry a gun in public, even if it is unloaded.
The bill would make it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed handgun on any public street or in a public place. The bill passed on a 41-25 party-line vote and now moves to the state Senate…
Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, who introduced the bill, said guns carried in public, even when not loaded, cause a public safety concern in part because gun owners can carry ammunition.
Supporters said police officers called to a scene where a gun was displayed have to treat the situation as a threat, because they can’t immediately tell whether a weapon is loaded. “How is a police officer supposed to know?” asked Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda. “Why would we put our men and women who protect us and provide security for our community in danger to make that split second decision?”
Read more here.
And, the Bee reported on the legislation on keeping a permanent record of a long gun purchases:
California would keep a permanent record of anyone buying a shotgun or rifle under legislation passed Thursday by the Assembly.
The measure would expand state law by adding long-gun buyers to a state Justice Department database that currently can identify only handgun purchasers….
Supporters of Assembly Bill 1810 claim it will help police officers track long guns at emergency or crime scenes, and it could help identify felons who own them illegally…
Read more here.
In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick is sponsoring a bill targeting gun trafficking that is currently in the Joint Judiciary Committee. Professor James Alan Fox explains what the bill would do in hisBoston Globe blog yesterday:
H. 4102 includes a series of measures designed to reduce illegal gun trafficking without violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Most importantly, the bill would make Massachusetts the fifth state (joining Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and California) to implement a one-gun-a-month limit on purchasers, although with reasonable exemptions such as for law enforcement, military and security personnel…
Read full blog here.
And theBoston Globe reports today on the bill:
A proposal to limit the number of guns a person can buy in Massachusetts is being mulled by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee today, sparking hope among supporters that the bill may finally come to a vote…
Proponents of the bill say it would make it difficult for gun traffickers to obtain weapons in bulk, then sell them illegally on the streets of Boston. Right now, people licensed to buy guns can buy an unlimited number of weapons. Gun control advocates said that allows for “straw purchases,” in which people who are legally able to buy guns are hired by gun traffickers to purchase weapons…
Read more here.