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Pelosi: ‘Finish the job’ on background checks

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Mike Thompson – House Democrats’ point man on gun violence issues – attended a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence news conference Wednesday marking the 20th anniversary of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and calling on Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation on background checks.

Thompson, D-Napa, and Rep. Pete King, D-N.Y., introduced H.R. 1565 in the House in April; it mirrors the bipartisan Manchin-Toomney bill that the Senate rejected that same month. House Republican leaders have not allowed any hearings on the bill.

From Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

Nancy Pelosi“At the beginning of every Congress we take an oath of office to protect and defend – that’s our first responsibility. It’s an honor to take that oath, but I’m ashamed to be here to face all of you not having finished the job yet.

“We must be relentless in how we pursue this, how we protect and defend the American people. In the two decades since the Brady Bill was signed into law, over two million gun requests did not get approved. Imagine: it stopped two million illegal gun purchases and helped protect millions of Americans from the incomprehensible tragedy felt by all of you here today.

[snip]

“Nobody’s political career is more important than protecting the American people. Who among us is of such value that we would not say, ‘I’ll take a risk, so that our kids don’t have to take a risk and be in danger?’ So, I think there’s reason to be hopeful, because of Mr. Thompson’s work in the House getting all those co-sponsors. All we need is 20, 30 more, and there are at least 30 more who would vote for it.

“So, what we want is to get people to sign on, or at least say they will support the bill, and to urge the leadership of the House to take up the bill. I believe if the bill were taken up in the House that it would pass, and when it passes the House, some Senators – well-intentioned – would no longer have the excuse: ‘It’s no use my risking my political career because it’s not going any place in the House.’ Let’s prove it. Let’s turn that around. Pass it in the House. Just put the pressure on to take up the bill. Why not? Why not? When 90 percent of the American people want us to finish the job?”

Thompson issued a statement after the news conference. “If this bill is passed, criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers wouldn’t be able to bypass a background check by simply buying a gun online, through a classified ad or at a gun show,” he said. “This bill will save lives and respects the Second Amendment. It deserves a vote. And, it deserves to be signed into law.”

Posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Under: gun control, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Court upholds voiding of handgun-ammo law

A 2009 law that would’ve required all “handgun ammunition” sales be done face-to-face, rather than online or by mail, is unconstitutionally vague and can’t be enforced, a California appeals court has ruled.

AB 962, authored by then-Assemblyman Kevin de Leon and signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, also would’ve required buyers of such ammunition to show valid ID, which the seller would record and keep for at least five years. Plaintiffs led by former Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker and represented by the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association sued, and a Fresno County Superior Court judge issued an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect in 2010.

The California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District agreed Wednesday, finding there’s no definition of “handgun ammunition” that’s clear enough for the law to be enforceable.

“In the absence of baseline standards, the classification of interchangeable calibers and cartridges as ‘handgun ammunition’ may be a fluid concept or a moving target, so to speak,” Associate Justice Gene Gomes wrote for himself and Associate Justice Stephen Kane.

“We find no basis from the text of the challenged statutes, their legislative history, the record on appeal, or elsewhere upon which to conclude there is a common understanding or objective meaning of the term ‘handgun ammunition.’ The level of certainty necessary to provide fair notice of the proscribed conduct and adequate standards for compliance with the law is missing. Therefore, the statutory scheme is unconstitutional.

“Because the challenged provisions fail to provide meaningful guidelines or discernable standards, there is a significant risk of arbitrary and discriminatory application by law enforcement officials. The lack of statutory guidance effectively confers discretion upon individual police officers to interpret the law themselves, thus allowing it to be enforced selectively or haphazardly. As such, the statutes do not satisfy the due process requirements under the second prong of the void-for-vagueness doctrine.”

Associate Justice Dennis Cornell dissented, writing that his colleagues’ opinion “does not accord due deference to the Legislature in its attempt to address a serious public safety concern.” He wrote that he would limit the law’s application “to those cartridges that generally are recognized as ‘principally for use’ in handguns. Under this commonsense construction, I would conclude the statutes convey a sufficiently definite warning of the regulated conduct and uphold their constitutionality.”

The Legislature since 2009 has moved toward regulating all ammunition sales, not just handgun ammunition. De Leon, now a state Senator, this year carried SB 53, which would require a background check for all ammunition purchases and licenses for all sellers; the bill will be taken up again in 2014.

And some cities are acting on their own. Sunnyvale voters on Tuesday approved Measure C, one part of which requires that ammunition sellers keep records of buyers’ IDs for two years.

The NRA will sue the city, said attorney Chuck Michel, who represented the plaintiffs against AB 962 and is pleased with Wednesday’s ruling.

“The court recognized the need for clarity in the law, particularly those that regulate constitutional rights,” Michel said in an email. “This is about more than firearm rights – it is about holding lawmakers accountable for enacting laws that people can understand and follow.”

Michel noted Wednesday’s opinion also confirmed which standard of review courts should apply in constitutional vagueness challenges, a larger legal issue unsettled by the courts for years. The ruling said that a law need not be vague in every conceivable application in order to be found unconstitutionally vague on its face, particularly if it regulates constitutionally protected activity.

Posted on Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Under: gun control | 2 Comments »

Man who threatened senator pleads to 10 crimes

The Santa Clara man who threatened a state senator’s life early this year over that lawmaker’s gun-control efforts pleaded guilty Monday to 10 crimes that could put him behind bars for up to a decade.

Everett BashamEverett Basham was arrested in February, about four weeks after he emailed a detailed threat to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. California Highway Patrol officers who searched his home found guns, explosives and chemicals to make explosives.

Yee issued a statement Monday thanking “everyone who had a hand in bringing this case to a swift conclusion.”

“I appreciate that justice was served in this matter and I hope that this man receives all the help he needs,” Yee said. “As I said back in February, threats like these will not deter me from pushing for common sense gun safety legislation to protect our children and our communities.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said Basham pleaded guilty Monday to seven felonies: three counts of possession of an assault weapon and one count each of attempted terrorist threats, reckless possession of a destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make a destructive device, and forgery of government ID. He also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors: possession of a destructive device, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

Two other felony counts were dismissed as part of his plea deal. He’ll be back in court on Dec. 17 for receipt of his probation report, which the judge will use in determining a sentence.

Leland YeeYee is the author of SB 47, which would prohibit so-called bullet buttons and other devices used to circumvent the state’s assault-weapons ban and allow fast reloading. But Yee back-burned the bill this fall as state Senate President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, tried to consolidate support for his SB 374, which would’ve added all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state’s list of banned assault weapons.

When Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374 earlier this month, Yee issued a statement saying he’ll revive SB 47 next year. “In the governor’s veto message, he spoke of the importance of our gun laws and the need to make sure they are carefully tailored,” Yee said at the time. “SB 47 will protect the public while keeping an appropriately narrow scope.”

SB 47 is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it could be heard as early as January.

Posted on Monday, October 28th, 2013
Under: California State Senate, gun control, Leland Yee | 1 Comment »

Not much hubbub over veto of Oakland gun bill

Those who wanted Oakland to be able to pass its own, stricter gun laws seemed unwilling to criticize Gov. Jerry Brown for his veto Monday.

AB 180 would’ve let Oakland establish its own ordinances – stricter than state law – on registration or licensing of firearms.

“The State of California has among the strictest gun laws in the country. Allowing individual cities to enact their own more restrictive firearms regulations will sow confusion and uncertainty,” Brown, who was Oakland’s mayor from 1999 to 2007, wrote in his veto message issued Friday. “I am mindful of the challenges the City of Oakland faces in addressing gun violence, but this is not the right solution.”

Rob BontaThe bill’s author – Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland – seemed to take it in stride.

“I will continue to fight for the people of Oakland to be free from the gun violence which plagues our community,” said Bonta, who as chair of the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay has held field hearings on the issue. “In his veto message, Governor Brown stated that he was ‘mindful of the challenges the City of Oakland faces in addressing gun violence. I look forward to continuing the conversation with the governor as to how the state can continue to assist Oakland in the future.”

Oakland City Council in May unanimously approved a resolution – introduced by council members Libby Schaaf and Rebecca Kaplan, as well as the city attorney’s office – supporting AB 180.

“Though we’re certainly disappointed that AB 180 was vetoed, it’s important that we recognize and celebrate the victories of our advocacy,” Kaplan spokesman Jason Overman said Monday. “Governor Brown signed an important bill authored by Assemblymember Skinner to create new common-sense gun laws that seek to reduce gun violence, both in Oakland and across California.”

The Skinner bill Overman referred to is AB 48, which makes it a crime to make, import, sell, give, lend, buy or receive any conversion kit that can convert a legal ammunition-feeding device into an illegal large-capacity magazine. The bill also makes it a crime to buy or receive a large-capacity magazine; manufacturing or selling such magazines already has been illegal in California for more than a decade.

Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013
Under: Assembly, gun control, Jerry Brown, Oakland City Council, Rebecca Kaplan, Rob Bonta | 9 Comments »

Game wardens urge Brown to veto lead ammo ban

Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to sign or veto any of the major gun-control bills that the Legislature sent to him in the final days of its session, and so advocates on both sides of the debate are pressuring him to see things their way.

ammoFor example, the California Fish and Game Wardens’ Association, representing current and retired sworn state game wardens, sent a letter to the governor Wednesday urging him to veto AB 711, which would ban the use of lead ammunition in hunting by mid-2019.

“Our California Wardens are the state’s environmental police, teachers of conservation, protectors of fish and wildlife, and a premiere law enforcement presence for public safety and disaster relief,” the association’s officers and board wrote to Brown. “California Game Wardens are on the front line enforcing the ban on lead ammunition for most hunting in condor range. But there is insufficient data to justify such a drastic action across the entire state.”

In taking this position, the wardens are breaking with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which had supported AB 711.

Environmentalists say the bill – authored by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate, protects California condors, eagles and other wildlife from lead poisoning. “There’s no reason to keep putting toxic lead into the food chain or risking human health when there are nontoxic bullets already on the market and in use by hunters,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate from the Center for Biological Diversity.

But the vast majority of ammunition used today contains lead, and opponents of the bill say the environmental argument is a smoke-screen. The California Association of Firearms Retailers has noted there isn’t much non-lead ammunition on the market, because federal authorities have determined that it meets the definition of armor-piercing ammunition, which is banned. Unless that’s resolved, the group said, there would be little or no legal ammunition for hunting.

Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto this session’s bills.

This bill and SB 374 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento – which would add all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state’s list of banned assault weapons – are probably the most controversial gun-related bills sent to Brown’s desk this year. Others include:

    SB 299 by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord – would require gun owners to report a gun theft or loss to police within seven days of knowing about it
    SB 475 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco – would essentially ban gun shows at the Cow Palace by requiring approval from San Francisco and San Mateo supervisors for such shows
    SB 567 by Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara – would update the definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore
    SB 683 by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego – would require owners of long guns to earn safety certificates like those already required of handgun owners
    SB 755 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Vacaville – would expand list of convicts who can’t legally own guns to include those with multiple drug or alcohol crimes, street gang members and others
    AB 48 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley – would ban conversion kits that allow people to turn regular magazines into high-capacity magazines
    AB 169 by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento – would tighten exemptions to the law prohibiting purchase of handguns that haven’t been tested and deemed safe by the state
    AB 180 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland – would give Oakland an exemption from state pre-emption so it can pass its own stricter gun registration or licensing statutes
    AB 231 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco – would make it a crime to leave a loaded firearm somewhere a child is likely to be able to get it without permission
    AB 1131 by Skinner – would extend from six months to five years the prohibition from owning firearms for those who’ve described a credible violent threat to a psychotherapist

Bills that DID NOT make it to Brown’s desk include:

    SB 47 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco – would have banned “bullet buttonsthat allow fast swapping of rifle magazines
    SB 53 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles – would have required background checks for ammunition purchases
    SB 293 by DeSaulnier – would have required all newly made or imported handguns in California be “smart guns” personalized so only their owners can fire them, effective 18 months after such guns go on the market and meet certain performance standards
    SB 396 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley – would have forced Californians to give up all ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, no matter when they were bought

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2013
Under: Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Jerry Brown | 2 Comments »

Pols react to Navy Yard shooting; DiFi talks guns

Your voices in Congress are responding to the mass shooting today at the Washington Navy Yard.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took a decidedly political approach:

“I mourn those killed today at the Navy Yard in Washington and send my thoughts and prayers to those families grieving the loss of loved ones.

“There are reports the killer was armed with an AR-15, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol when he stormed an American military installation in the nation’s capital and took at least 12 innocent lives.

“This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons—including a military-style assault rifle—and kill many people in a short amount of time.

“When will enough be enough?

“Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, made no policy prescriptions:

“Our prayers rest with the families and loved ones of those killed at the Washington Navy Yard today. Our thoughts remain with the injured and all those now recovering from this unspeakable tragedy.
“Every day, the men and women of our Navy and across our Armed Forces lay their lives on the line on distant shores; they should not be forced to confront the horrors of gun violence here at home.

“Members of Congress always stand with the members of our military. Today, we hold a special place in our hearts for those who serve our country at the Navy Yard and for all caught in the crossfire of today’s horrible attack. We offer our condolences to the victims and stand prepared to support them and their families in the days and weeks to come.”

From House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:

“This has been a dark day, and we know more of them lie ahead for the families of the victims. Hoping that they find comfort – and answers – is at the top of our minds. Next, we ought to say ‘thank you’ to the first responders and law enforcement professionals – including Capitol Police – who did their jobs and saved lives.

“These events strike a particularly personal chord for all of us on Capitol Hill. Every day, a special breed of men and women go to work at the Navy Yard, and they do so just blocks from our Capitol. These are our neighbors and our defenders. So I would ask all the members, officers, and staff of the House of Representatives to take a moment tonight to think about everyone at the Navy Yard, and keep them in your hearts. I pray that we never forget their service and sacrifice.”

And, assorted tweets:

@RepBarbaraLee: My thoughts and prayers go out to victims and loved ones of those killed or injured at #NavyYard today.

@RepSwalwell: Today, not far from Cap. Hill, a senseless act of gun violence took innocent lives. Thoughts are w/ victims’ families. #NavyYardShooting

@RepThompson: Keep Navy Yard victims in your thoughts as law enforcement works to ensure those responsible for this horrific shooting are held accountable

Posted on Monday, September 16th, 2013
Under: Barbara Lee, Dianne Feinstein, Eric Swalwell, gun control, John Boehner, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 17 Comments »

Skinner & Bonta urge passage of gun control bills

Two Assembly members and a flock of East Bay elected officials and community leaders gathered on an Oakland church’s steps Monday morning to urge the Legislature and governor to pass and enact gun-control measures.

Bonta-Skinner news conference - photo by Josh Richman“The Second Amendment’s purpose was not to have every citizen own assault weapons, it was not to protect gun violence in our communities,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, at the news conference outside Beebe Memorial Cathedral.

Skinner and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, urged the state Senate to pass two of Skinner’s bills: AB 48, which would ban conversion kits that let people create their own high-capacity ammunition magazines, and AB 1131, which would increases from six months to five years the period of time that someone is prohibited from possessing a firearm after communicating a threat of physical violence to a licensed psychotherapist.

They also urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill by Bonta that the Legislature already has passed: AB 180, which would give Oakland special permission to pass and enforce gun registration and licensing ordinances that are stricter than state law.

Both lawmakers urged the public to flood the governor’s office with phone calls and letters of support for these bills.

Pastor Michael McBride of The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley said he was among faith leaders who met with Vice President Joe Biden in January, weeks after the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy, to discuss how to deal with gun violence.

“In many of our communities, we have Newtown tragedies every day,” McBride said Monday, adding he knows the man – a father of young children – who was shot and killed early Sunday evening at Eighth and Page streets in Oakland. “We know one bill won’t solve all the problems, but it gets us closer… This is a moral issue we must respond to today.”

Skinner echoed that – “ We know that gun laws alone will not do this, will not solve it” – and called for local communities to unite behind zero-tolerance policies for gun violence.

The Legislature has a other gun-control bills to consider as well in this final week of its session, including:

  • SB 53 (De Leon) — to require a background check for all ammunition purchases and licenses for all sellers
  • SB 374 (Steinberg) — to ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and retroactively requires an ownership record for all guns
  • SB 396 (Hancock) — to outlaw ownership of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition
  • SB 567 (Jackson) — to update California’s definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore
  • SB 683 (Block) – to expand safety certificate requirements to long guns, rather than just handguns
  • SB 755 (Wolk) — to expand list of convicts who can’t legally own guns to include of multiple drug or alcohol convictions, carrying ammunition onto school grounds, active participation in street gangs, and others
  • AB 711 (Rendon) — to ban use of lead ammunition by California hunters
  • Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Nancy Skinner, Rob Bonta | 8 Comments »

    Gun-control bills tailored for SF, Oakland advance

    The Legislature on Friday sent two city-specific gun control measures – both for the Bay Area – to Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The state Senate passed AB 180 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, which would give Oakland special permission to pass and enforce gun registration and licensing ordinances that are stricter than state law.

    Bonta on Friday noted FBI statistics show Oakland last year had California’s highest violent-crime level, and the nation’s third highest. The city had more than 4,000 firearm-related crimes and 131 homicides in 2012; it has had 65 deaths by firearm so far in 2013.

    “No one can deny that Oakland is suffering,” he said in a news release, adding his bill “is a smart and sensible bill that empowers Oakland and provides local control in addressing gun violence—where it is needed most.”

    Bonta was appointed chair of the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay this year, and he and fellow committee member Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will hold a news conference Monday morning in Oakland to urge Brown to sign this and other bills.

    Meanwhile, the Assembly on Friday passed SB 475 by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, which would require permission from the San Francisco and San Mateo County boards of supervisors in order for gun shows to be held at the Cow Palace – in effect, banning any future gun shows there.

    “For years, residents, community organizations and elected leaders from the neighborhoods surrounding the Cow Palace have asked to have a voice in the decision to hold gun shows in their backyards, but they have been ignored,” Leno said in a news release Friday. “Meanwhile, firearms related crimes persist in these communities, tearing apart the lives of innocent families who reside in the surrounding area. This proposal gives local communities a say in determining whether they want gun shows in their neighborhoods, especially when they live in daily fear of gun violence.”

    The Cow Palace straddles the county line, and is operated by the state Department of Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions. Leno twice before has authored bills to impose flat-out bans on gun and ammunition sales at the Cow Palace: AB 2948 of 2008 failed on the Senate floor, and SB 585 of 2009 was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Posted on Friday, September 6th, 2013
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Mark Leno, Oakland, Rob Bonta, Uncategorized | 53 Comments »

    Obama issues new gun-control executive actions

    The Obama administration announced two more gun-control executive actions Thursday that it says will help keep some of the most dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands.

    Current law puts heavy restrictions on certain weapons such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns including registration and a fingerprint-based background check, but some have sought to evade these requirements by registering such weapons to a trust or corporation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations in 2012 alone.

    The administration announced Thursday that ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation requiring that individuals associated with trusts or corporations acquiring such weapons must undergo background checks.

    The other action deals with surplus military weapons. When the United States provides military firearms to its allies, either as direct commercial sales or through the foreign military sales or military assistance programs, those weapons can’t be imported back into the United States without federal approval. Since 2005, the government has authorized requests to re-import more than 250,000 of these firearms.

    The administration said it will start denying all such requests by private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums.

    Thursday’s actions follow almost two dozen other gun-control actions the Obama administration implemented in January.

    Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, who is House Democrats’ gun-policy point man and co-author of a bipartisan background-check bill that’s still pending in the House, issued a statement saying the White House “has once again taken important steps that will help reduce and prevent gun violence. Now, Congress needs to act.

    “Congress cannot continue standing by and doing nothing when more than 30 people are killed every day by someone using a gun,” Thompson said. “The most important thing we can do is pass my bipartisan bill requiring that anyone who buys a gun at a gun show or over the Internet get a background check. This is a commonsense step that will help keep guns from criminals, terrorists, and the dangerously mentally. The American people deserve for Congress to step up and vote on this bill.”

    Thompson’s bill has 184 co-sponsors, including every member of the Bay Area’s House delegation.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29th, 2013
    Under: gun control, Mike Thompson, Obama presidency, U.S. House | 3 Comments »

    State Senate panel to hold media violence hearing

    A state Senate subcommittee hear testimony Wednesday on media violence’s impact on public safety – an issue the panel’s chair says has arisen from recent months’ gun-violence debates.

    The informational hearing of the Senate Public Safety Subcommittee on Gangs, Guns and Drugs is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, in Room 113 of the State Capitol.

    State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, who chairs the Public Safety Committee as well as this subcommittee, said the hearing’s goal “is to provide legislators with the latest research on media violence and to present information regarding possible policy solutions from a constitutional perspective.”

    “In our consideration of gun safety regulations during the last few months, questions were often raised about the relationship of mental health to gun violence, as well as repeated exposure to media violence on young people and marginalized individuals,” Hancock added.

    Among those scheduled to take part are Laramie Taylor, a UC-Davis associate professor of communications who’ll testify on “Media Violence and Public Health;” Derek Burrill, a UC-Riverside associate professor of media and cultural studies who’ll testify on “Video Game Culture;” Dr. Andrew Giammona, medical director and director of the Division of Mental Health and Child Development at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, who’ll testify on “Media Violence Impact on Child Development;” Ashutosh Bhagwat, a UC-Davis law professor who’ll testify on “Media Violence, Constitutional Law and the First Amendment;” and Colby Zintl, vice president of Common Sense Media.

    The hearing comes even as a slew of gun-control measures continue to wend through the Democrat-dominated Legislature toward Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Some were approved last week by the Assembly Public Safety Committee, including SB 53, to require background checks for ammunition purchases, and SB 293, which could eventually require that all handguns sold in California be “smart guns” that can be used only by their authorized owners.

    Perhaps the very most controversial bill – SB 374, which would ban all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and retroactively require ownership records for all guns – has been passed by the state Senate but has not yet been heard by any Assembly committees.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
    Under: Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Loni Hancock | 4 Comments »