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Bay Area-based gun control bills advance

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 12:19 pm in Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Leland Yee, Mark DeSaulnier, Oakland City Council, Rebecca Kaplan, Rob Bonta.

As a bipartisan deal on increased background checks for gun sales appears to be headed for defeat in the U.S. Senate, some state lawmakers from the Bay Area are celebrating their own progress on gun-control measures yesterday in Sacramento.

The state Senate Public Safety Committee advanced a slew of gun bills on a series of party-line, 5-2 votes yesterday.

Mark DeSaulnierAmong them were two bills by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.

SB 293 would require all newly made or imported handguns in California be “owner-authorized,” or “smart guns” personalized in a way that would allow them to be fired only by authorized persons. This requirement would take effect eighteen months after the state California Attorney General makes a finding that owner-authorized handguns are available for retail sale and meet stringent performance criteria specified in the bill.

And DeSaulnier’s SB 299 would require that every person whose firearm is lost or stolen must notify local law enforcement within 48 hours of the time they knew, or reasonably should have known, of the loss or theft. If the firearm is subsequently recovered, the local law enforcement agency would have to be notified within 48 hours as well.

“It is critical that we promote safe and responsible gun ownership,” DeSaulnier said in a news release. “These bills will help us prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, and ensure they are only operated by their lawful owners.”

Leland YeeAlso passed by the committee were two bills by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.

SB 47 would prohibit the use of “bullet buttons” or other devices that allow for easily changeable magazines on firearms deemed assault weapons by state law. Such firearms would only be allowed to have ammunition magazines holding up to 10 rounds, which could not be changed without dissembling the weapon; essentially, bullets would have to be loaded one-by-one from the top of the gun.

And Yee’s SB 108 would require all guns to be properly stored when an adult isn’t home. Current law requires that gun owners own a trigger lock or safety lock box for their weapon, but doesn’t require such a device be used on an idle firearm; Yee’s bill would specifically require that any firearm be stored with a trigger lock or in a lock box at a residence when the owner isn’t there.

“The horrors of Newtown and countless other mass shootings are still with us,” Yee said in his own news release. “With this in mind, it is our responsibility to make sure our laws protect the innocent from the threat of gun violence.”

In other Bay Area-based gun policy news, Oakland City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution asking the state Legislature to pass a bill creating a bullet tax.

AB 187 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would impose a 10 percent tax on ammunition to fund crime prevention efforts in the state’s most crime-ridden areas. Bonta had said last month that his bill might merge with another lawmaker’s proposed nickel-per-round tax to fund mental-health screening for children. He also said his tax is mostly about generating money to “combat the gun violence in our communities,” but could have the “secondary benefit” of stemming “rampant sales.”

Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who introduced the resolution along with City Attorney Barbara Parker, issued a statement saying that the bill’s endorsement is part of an effort to work with state officials to stop gun violence.

“This bill would significantly improve our ability to make communities safer,” Kaplan said. “I’m committed to working with leaders at all levels of government to stop gun violence.”

AB 187 is scheduled to be heard Monday, May 6 by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

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  • RR senile columnist

    You’ll need a mighty big latrine for the content of some of these proposals. Most are merely punitive but state senator Yee’s bill is downright invasive of civil liberties. Spot checks of private homes? How else could it be enforced? As for Oakville’s contribution, why not fund trips for teens to Afghanistan and Bolivia so they can better understand drug trafficking, one of the most popular trades?

  • Pingback: Oakland City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca D. Kaplan » Blog Archive » Tribune: Bay Area-based gun control bills advance

  • Elwood

    Marky Mark and Leland Yee.

    Now THERE’S a pair to draw to.

    Huh, Josh?

  • Josh Richman

    @3 Ha. Actually, I’m surprised to find that this is only the 10th time you’ve used that phrase in your comments here – it feels like I see it all the time. But I’m not surprised to see you used it once before to describe exactly these two lawmakers (on a completely different issue).

  • Elwood

    @ Josh #4

    Good then.

    Good now.

    Good later.

    Watch for it!

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Why do I keep seeing the propaganda photo of Mark DeSalnier? Why don’t you show us what he really looks like? How about a picture of Mark’s turbaned thug? He is quite an annoying man, not because of the turban.