Last Updated:August 29 @ 09:46 pm

California Senate Democrats roll out big gun control package

By The Oakland Tribune

All semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines would be banned, all guns would be registered and no ammunition could be bought without a special permit in California under a sweeping list of bills rolled out Thursday by state Senate Democrats.

The 10-bill package constitutes the single largest gun control push in decades in the Golden State, which already boasts some of the nation's strictest gun laws. It joins equally controversial proposals from Assembly Democrats that would regulate and tax ammunition sales and consider taking the state's 166,000 registered assault weapons from their owners.

This first unified California plan comes less than a month after New York adopted its own sweeping package of new gun controls and President Barack Obama announced a package of executive actions, all in the wake of December's Connecticut schoolhouse massacre. Even as this plan emerged Thursday, House Democrats' gun violence task force was announcing 15 "policy principles," including protecting Second Amendment rights but also instituting universal background checks and reinstating a federal assault weapons ban.

"We respect the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to have guns for hunting, for sport, for protecting their homes and families. But loopholes in California's tough gun laws have been exploited long enough," state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said Thursday.

"We can save lives by curbing the

proliferation of guns designed to be fired and reloaded rapidly," he said. "We can save lives by getting guns and ammunition out of the hands of the wrong people. We can save lives if every gun owner knows how to safely handle those guns. And if we can save lives, we must act to do so."

Gene Hoffman of Redwood City, co-founder and chairman of the Calguns Foundation gun rights group, countered that "almost every item in the proposal is wildly unconstitutional." He said the only silver lining is that passing such laws might "accelerate the speed at which the Supreme Court takes these ideas off the table."

Steinberg unveiled the package in a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol, flanked by Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; and police chiefs Chris Magnus of Richmond, Ken James of Emeryville and Sylvia Moir of El Cerrito.

A bill by Steinberg would ban future sale, purchase, making, importing or transfer in California of any semi-automatic rifle that takes a detachable magazine, by adding such guns to the state's list of banned assault weapons. Another Steinberg bill would require ownership records for all guns; California now keeps only handgun and assault weapon records.

Hancock's bill would ban possession -- not just manufacture and sale -- of large-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has reintroduced a bill to ban "bullet button" kits that let gun owners effectively sidestep the distinction between detachable and fixed magazines for semi-automatic rifles. Another Yee bill would require that guns be properly locked and stored when their owners aren't present, but that bill wasn't included on Steinberg's list Thursday.

That list also included bills that would:

--Require anyone wishing to buy ammunition to first get a permit by passing a background check, as Los Angeles and Sacramento already do.

--Update the definition of a banned shotgun with a revolving cylinder to include the new technology of a shotgun-rifle combination.

--Prevent unregulated gun loans, with some exceptions, including hunting, in order to keep weapons from those who haven't passed background checks.

--Require all handgun owners obtain a safety certificate every year, rather than the every-five-years requirement for purchases of new handguns.

--Prohibit anyone barred from owning a weapon from living in a home where weapons are kept and to expand the list of crimes for which convictions result in being barred from gun possession.

--Let the state Justice Department use money from the state's Dealer's Record of Sale system to eliminate the backlog of people identified as no longer allowed to own guns but not yet investigated and contacted by law enforcement.

Yih-Chau Chang, spokesman for the gun rights group Responsible Citizens of California, said it's all "par for the course."

"The violent criminals are simply not going to be affected by any of these proposals," Chang said. "Following the law is the last thing they're going to do, so it's only going to affect law-abiding citizens."

---

Josh Richman covers politics.

(c)2013 The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Calif.)

Visit The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Calif.) at www.insidebayarea.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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26 Comments

  1. jb80538Comment by jb80538
    February 9, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    These requirements are overreaching and pretty much unconstitutional. This bill would make many hunting rifles illegal due to the fact that they use a detachable magazine..I’m glad I don’t live on the left coast! I don’t even like going there for business.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (38 votes cast)
    • rattlerjakeComment by rattlerjake
      February 9, 2013 @ 10:12 am

      I smell law suits!

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (25 votes cast)
    • spyderdaltonComment by spyderdalton
      February 9, 2013 @ 11:22 am

      We have to start making politicians accountable for violating their oaths of office. It is an illegal act and should be treated as such. Passing unconstitutional laws should be punishable by fine and or imprisonment as a felony.

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (47 votes cast)
    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      February 9, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

      It works best when gun grabbers go this far overboard.
      It becomes easier to show the unconstitutionality of the proposals, and it clearly illustrates the real goals of the proponents … just so nobody keeps fooling themselves.

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (25 votes cast)
    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      February 9, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

      hear that sound comming from califorication land?
      its your duely elected marxist flushing you down the toilet.
      and you should be made to stay and live in your own disaster.
      and so goes for all demcRAT run states do not move awaymstay and live under what you voted for.dont come to my state and start right back voting democrat we dont want you here!

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (19 votes cast)
    • myronjpoltroonianComment by myronjpoltroonian
      February 9, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

      @capricorn1, Be careful there with your broad brush my friend, I live in Calipornia and I did not vote for any of these political “Father/Mothers” (thank you, Arlo Gutherie), nor any of their ilk. I’m doing what I can to reverse the political trends here, but it is an uphill battle. Yes, I’m a life member of the NRA and yes, I speak out when and where I can. I vote, not early, but as often as I’m legally allowed to as well. As for “Getting out of Dodge” just because things are tough, I’ve never been one to cut and run. At 71 years of age, you might consider me to be set in my ways. I prefer to think of it as being willing to share my thoughts and well founded opinions on important matters until everyone agrees with me.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (17 votes cast)
    • bf39Comment by bf39
      February 9, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

      What is the senate going to do when a criminal breaks into a home whose gun has been removed by these bills? They may remove guns from legal citizens, but what about the criminals? They should enforce the laws on the books rather than create more! When someone is brought before a court of law and found guilty of a any type of assault with a gun, they should be put in jail the first time, and not for just a week. Have a no tolerance policy and stick with it.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (9 votes cast)
  2. lowlifeComment by lowlife
    February 9, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    Hopefully, all the gun-owning, tax-paying, productive people will just gather up their guns and ammo and leave. Let the leftist morons and illegal aliens try to run their tyrannical welfare state without the money they extract from their political enemies. I left thirty years ago; California, then, was taxed and regulated to the point where it was not a fit place to live, or do business.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (36 votes cast)
    • tiredofyourpabComment by maddogkelly
      February 9, 2013 @ 11:23 am

      AGREED I was born and pretty much raised there, left for the same reason. California is broke, housing is ridiculously high and the replanted kooks, illegals, their laws and taxes, fees, etc can have that place. I’m still waiting for the western half of CA to fall into the ocean from the “big earthquake” hey we can only hope, as long as Feinstein goes with it. Move to Texas where a man can be a man and a woman a woman and the thieves can break into our houses, but can never leave.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (40 votes cast)
    • myronjpoltroonianComment by myronjpoltroonian
      February 9, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

      @lowlife & @maddogkelly, I wrote this a few years ago and it was actually published in the local rag: “As goes California, so goes the nation”; we’ve all heard that one. Right? Well, I’ve determined that California doesn’t have so much of a “North/South” problem, as it does an “East/West” problem. Just look at a map of the election results time after time on a county by county basis to see what I mean. The “Tail” of Two Cities (or Metro Areas) is that San Francisco and Los Angles decide our fate, which direction we go, et cetera. (As it is in almost any other state I can think of.) I, by the way, believe I-5 should be the dividing line. To the east? California. To the west? Mexifornia. and, I do not mean that in a racist way, hell, I work for the Cervantes family business. (O.k., o.k., if that name bothers you, how about one we already know and associate with the current state of California. “La-La Land”?) Rather I’m referring to the manner in which our majority Democrat politicians in California are pandering to “the Greens”, or La Raza (which means “The Race” and it ain’t Anglos, my friends) and all that that entails, just for a couple of examples. Or, to promise the sky to the now institutionally down-trodden (as long as they continue to vote for them, of course) paid for by other peoples money. Unlike many of the comments here, the voters in the two major California “Metrollopises” (thank you Robert Heinlein) typify what is sadly missing in our country today. An understanding of the very principles our founders laid down for us, and, more importantly, their reasons why. How many of these so-called “Enlightened Ones” know, understand, or, most egregiously, even care why we have an “Electoral College”? They only think (and I use that term loosely) that a “Tyranny of the Majority” happens if the Republicans are in charge. (Watch them come screeching out of the woodwork on that one) They won’t even see the similarities between their actions to stifle dissent and impose their oh so enlightened mandates “For the ‘good of the people’ ” as compared to what they rail against from “the ‘other’ side”. You cannot say anything that would offend anyone. Unless, of course, that offense is committed against a “Non-Protected Class”. Then you may offend and call names to your little “Progressive”, black hearted content.” 

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  3. highsiderComment by highsider
    February 9, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    In current politispeak, this issue definitly is “a hill to die on” for freedom loving Americans. No one is going to turn in even one more presently legal gun in California or anywhere else in these United States. If the one worlder, progressive,Socialists that believe they are calling the shots attempt to impliment any such thing, they will be learning, possibly for the first time in their lives, what the term “United” means.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (23 votes cast)
  4. gnafuComment by gnafu
    February 9, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    Mr. Chang is correct that criminals will not be engaged in any of California’s laws; only honorable, law abiding citizens will be targeted. This leaves the criminals on the streets and gunless (sic) people without any way of retaliating should they have need. CA is known for idiotic rules and laws and they are “tax nuts.”. 1) Ignore the Constitution of The United States/Bill of Rights out of stupidity and allow criminals free reign 2) Disarm the CA Citizens so when the big hammer comes down, Socialism/Communism/tyrannical government can have a good neck-hold on all of the people. There are wonderful people who live in CA. I’m sure they were either born there or migrated to the beautiful State for whatever reasons. The last message I received from my son who moved to CA is that many sensible residents are leaving, including my son. He no longer can grill outside on his small patio (propane or otherwise), cannot light a dinner candle inside or outside his home, smoking is banned inside and outside private homes (son doesn’t smoke but it’s another law for the people to follow)AND, if anyone is seen smoking ? on their patios/outside, neighbors are to turn them into the local law enforcement! Maybe they can smoke weed – don’t know. Sit down in a restaurant for dining, a tax is put on the bill first for customers sitting their bums down in the restaurant then add the food orders plus another State tax on the food and Service. The laws and regulations and taxes just keep increasing. Agenda-21 is in-force throughout CA. Yep, time to get out of CA and find a State that operates with some sanity.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (21 votes cast)
    • odayterrenceComment by odayterrence
      February 9, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

      gnafu – Sounds like your son lives in San Francisco or somewhere else in the Bay Area. That is the bastion of Liberals. My sympathies to him.

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    • FreeDameComment by FreeDame
      February 12, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

      I left the San Diego/Los Angeles area in 1994. I had no idea it had gotten this bad. Incredible…

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  5. odayterrenceComment by odayterrence
    February 9, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    California Politicians sure do love criminals…they are determined to create as many as they can! These politicians are all Democrats, do they realize there are many Democratic ordinary citizens in CA that own firearms for protection and recreation? How will they like seeing their Party Leadership, which they normally support completely, declare them to be criminals?

    One Catch-22 situation the politicians don’t realize with their efforts to declare normally law-abiding firearm owners criminals. What will they do about their gun registration schemes? The US Supreme Court ruled decades ago that criminals are NOT required to register guns! Since it’s already illegal for them to own guns, making them register those guns violates their 5th Amendment Rights. Would making criminals submit to background checks also violate the 5th Amendment? Would be interesting to see. Gee…if the government declares me a criminal for owning a gun (without me even getting a trial) I guess I don’t have to register it.

    Like I said, CA government sure does love criminals. Their hard work helping Illegal Aliens have shown it for years. I’m looking forward to seeing the contortions of logic and common-sense these gun-hating politicians will show when confronted with Armed Illegal Aliens. We are in for some interesting times ahead.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (12 votes cast)
  6. slingshot383Comment by slingshot383
    February 9, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

    So who would be exempt from this law? Or, is it like New York’s un-Constitutional law with no exceptions even for law enforcement?

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    Rating: 3.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  7. vevaComment by veva
    February 9, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    Ah, yes, this kind of legislation is what the DOJ wanted with their “Fast and Furious” gun-running scheme. Two border agents and 100s of Mexican citizens, dead.

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  8. LarryComment by Larry
    February 10, 2013 @ 12:00 am

    @myronjpoltroonian: Don’t remember Heinlein’s use of “metroliopises” in any of his works; BTW, one of my favorite authors of all time.

    Agree that California’s idiots need to learn not to listen to liars in the media and vote for charlatans to govern (rule?) them. And those liberals who flee CA because of the people THEY voted for should be required to go back, clean up the mess they made and not be allowed to mess up a new location.

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  9. rolly0412Comment by rolly0412
    February 10, 2013 @ 12:49 am

    I think ALL law abiding citizens should have permit/license to own and carry firearms (just like driving), renewable say, every 5 years. Selling of firearms will have to go through a licensed dealer (no private sales) to do the usual process of background checks, paper works, etc. ALL gun owners MUST get mandatory training on how to PROPERLY HANDLE and SECURE guns to minimize if not completely eliminate accidental shootings and thefts. NO exceptions. Additional training recommended.

    There should be no limitations as to what types of firearms are considered legal. Should there be a limit though on how many guns and ammunition an individual can amass?

    Criminals with violent records are not allowed to own firearm(s), PERIOD. Or do we apply it to all people that committed felonies, even white collar crimes? Of course, it also covers mentally ill individuals.

    You must think I’ve gone bonkers… that’s GUN CONTROL!

    Precisely, but, I propose that ILLEGAL possession of ONE firearm carry a STIFF sentence – say, 25 years with no parole. So, let’s say somebody commits robbery with a gun. Aside from the penalty for taking other people’s property, a 25-year sentence would be added to it. If that somebody commits a series of robbery involving guns (say three), he’ll be in jail for a long time – practically for the rest of his/her life. The mere act of stealing gun(s) would give that person a 25-year sentence for each gun stolen. Private sale of guns would be illegal and would carry the same 25-year sentence for both seller and buyer.

    It’s probably not perfect but it lays the heavy burden on the criminals not the law abiding citizens.

    It will not prevent mentally deranged individuals from stealing guns and going on a rampage – but that’s why I propose that people have mandatory training with regards to properly securing their firearms – to avoid gun thefts.

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    • FreeDameComment by FreeDame
      February 12, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

      @rolly0412 – Point #1: What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?

      Point #2: When you license/register firearms, you are simply providing a convenient list for the government to confiscate by.

      Point #3: New and stiffer laws are not the answer. Not only criminals but THE COURTS ignore the laws according to their whims. What makes you think they will abide by/enforce the new ones?

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  10. LarryComment by Larry
    February 10, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    @rolly0412:

    Why not use the 5-year driver license renewal as the background check? Any state should be able to link automatically with NICS to see if there’s a criminal problem with the licensee. Mandatory training is a good idea, BUT it should be done in school, including home schooling, starting with the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program in pre-school. All persons should understand how firearms work and understand the responsibilities of firearms use and ownership. We do the same thing with driver’s education, so why not firearms?

    Why limit someone’s right to own what they want and can afford? Would you limit the number of art objects one can own? Vehicles? Homes? Then why firearms and ammo?

    Criminals are PROHIBITED NOW from owning firearms. Finding a criminal in possession of a firearm should be an automatic addition to any sentence; I believe many states do that now.

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  11. KBBComment by KBB
    February 10, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    Comment by capricorn1:…you should be made to stay and live in your own disaster. and so goes for all demcRAT run states do not move awaymstay and live under what you voted for.dont come to my state and start right back voting democrat we dont want you here!
    ******
    capricorn1, I totally agree with you! I’m a CA conservative, out-voted and surrounded by left-wing nuts who complain to our newspaper Editors about the conditions here, but they keep voting Democrat! They don’t see what they are doing. They don’t vote Dem and then outright say “legislate like a conservative”. They vote Dem, complain and then suggest solutions that are conservative! They don’t get that they are the problem in the first place for voting Democrat! Then, they get disgusted, move to another state — and vote Democrat again! I’d be mad too if I were you. Tell those new Dems in your state what they are doing. Many of us here in CA depend on your state to remain a conservative ally!

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  12. michaelrComment by michaelr
    February 11, 2013 @ 7:03 am

    Why this isn’t an ILLEGAL gun. It’s just *undocumented.*

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  13. wallpentComment by wallpent
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    What weapon do we need to shoot down a drone? an f-16 or a fighter jet? We need to be able to meet aggression equal and oppositely..Besides the United nations don’t want us to have these weapons.Why/ the drug cartells have invaded most american cities and you know what Atty Gen Holder sold to the Mexican drug cartell..Then Obama is planning on Cloward and Pivens civil disorder..it is a bad time..

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  14. wypatriotComment by wypatriot
    February 11, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    They won’t stop with this… You CA people are only the first to be TOTALLY Disarmed so the Socialists there can begin to execute who ever they want any time. Their next move is to sell out to Muslim extremists like the Liar in Chief has planned for all of US. These rifles they are banning are for the Defense of a Free People ! CA n maybe the rest of US too, kiss your rights Goodbye !

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  15. alagumbiComment by alagumbi
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    This quote by Noah Webster from circa 1788 is one all law-abiding gun owners should know by heart: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The Supreme Power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

    Additionally, Thomas Jefferson said in 1803, “The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect the people from a tyrannical government.” Let us not forget that he was one of the writers of the Bill of Rights!

    Hopefully all law-makers in this country will take heed of these historic statements and remember that we will defend our Constitution as they are sworn to do!

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