Apparently there’s at least one gun-policy bill in Sacramento on which both sides of the aisle can agree.
It’s already illegal in California for convicted felons to possess firearms, but current law limits the punishment for that crime to three years or less; SB 644 would increase that sentence to as much as six years and would automatically count such a conviction as a new strike under the state’s “Three Strikes” law.
“I think we all can agree enforcing existing gun laws and giving them real teeth is good public policy,” Cannella said in a news release. “Under the current statute, a felon in possession of a gun does not constitute a serious or violent crime, whereas someone entering a private residence while no one is home is considered a serious offense. A felon in possession of a firearm is surely more of a danger to public safety than someone entering a private residence while no one is home.
“Getting these criminals off our streets is real gun control,” he said. “This is a common sense bill that makes a difference and keeps our families safer.”
Cannella spokesman Jeff Macedo said the committee passed the bill just a few minutes ago. A final vote isn’t available yet because committee vice chairman Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, and
member Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, were absent and could still add their votes before the committee adjourns today, but there aren’t any “no” votes thus far.
SB 644 now goes to the state Senate Appropriations Committee. It’s supported by the National Rifle Association, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and the Modesto and Salinas Police Departments.
UPDATE @ 5:06 P.M.: The committee’s final vote was 6-0; contrary to my earlier information, it was actually state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who was absent and didn’t cast a vote today.