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Brown OKs New Limits on Assault Weapons and Ammo Magazines

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A single rifle cartridge and a 30-round clip on display at a 2013 gun show in Utah.  (George Frey/Getty Images)

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed half a dozen bills regulating the purchase and sale of firearms, ammunition and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

In a brief signing statement issued Friday, the governor said his goal in signing the bills "is to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners."

Among the bills Brown signed into law were AB 1135 and SB 880, measures that expand the definition of assault weapons banned for sale in the state and impose new registration requirements for those who own the newly banned firearms.

Specifically, the statute is intended to close a loophole in state law that had permitted the continued sale of assault-style firearms equipped with a "bullet button" that allows users to rapidly change ammunition magazines.

Brown also signed:

A ban on large-capacity magazines and restrictions on ammunition sales are also included in a gun control initiative on the November ballot. The ballot measure is backed by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom who says it will go further than the legislation. For instance, it establishes a process to take guns from people convicted of certain crimes.


“Right now in California we have a backlog, estimated over 30,000 guns in the hands of people who’ve been convicted of violent misdemeanors or convicted of violent felonies," Newsom said.

The bills Brown vetoed included SB 894, which would make it an infraction -- or a misdemeanor on a third offense -- to fail to report the theft, loss or recovery of a lost or stolen gun.

Brown noted in his veto message he rejected similar measures in 2012 and 2013 because he did not believe they would curtail illegal gun possession or sales.

"I continue to believe that responsible people report the loss or theft of a firearm and irresponsible people do not; it is not likely this bill would change that," the governor wrote.

The other vetoed firearms-related bills were:

  • AB 1176, on firearms theft
  • AB 1673, to require registration of "ghost" firearms
  • AB 1674, imposing new requirements on gun transfers
  • AB 2607, expanding the list of those who can seek firearms restraining orders


Original post:

California lawmakers on Thursday sent a dozen new gun regulations to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bills include:

Senate President pro tem Kevin de León says California has a responsibility to act on gun regulations.

“We are not afraid to pass laws here in California, and we do not back down this time," he said. "We want to be that beacon of hope for the rest of the country, especially after Orlando.”

The Florida city was the scene of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub on June 12. Forty-nine people were killed in the attack, in which a single gunman used an assault-type rifle and a semi-automatic pistol. More than 50 others were wounded.

Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen says the batch of new laws will  hurt law-abiding gun owners while doing little to prevent future mass shootings.

"Seriously consider, if in five years, this vote will make any difference and save any lives. It will not," he said.

Voters will see a similar package of gun regulations on the November ballot in a measure backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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