Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Sweeping Gun Legislation

In the absence of a congressional deal on firearms, the State of California has once again taken the lead on strict gun control measures. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of six bills Friday aimed at stopping mass shootings and terror attacks like the ones recently seen in San Bernardino and Orlando.

Gun advocates are dubbing the sweeping legislation the "gunpocalypse," and some of them gathered at Sacramento’s Cesar Chavez Plaza Sunday to protest. Many said they would refuse to abide by the new laws.

The new legislation takes aim at so-called “bullet buttons”, while expanding the definition of assault weapons. It also expands background checks for ammunition purchases and restricts gun loans without background checks to friends and family.

The new rules beef up firearm regulations in a state that already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. But the reform efforts could have been stricter still, had the governor not vetoed five other bills approved by the legislature. Among other things, the rejected legislation would have limited residents to one firearm purchase a month.

In addition, the governor rejected legislation that would have made the theft of a firearm a felony once again. AB 1176 would have reversed the change ushered in by Prop. 47, which downgraded thefts of a gun $950 or less to a misdemeanor. Law enforcement officials expressed frustration with that decision Friday.

Those who feel the new regulations don’t go far enough will have a chance to enact greater changes this November. A far-reaching gun control measure backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has qualified for the ballot.

Read more about the new legislation here.

Image Credit: User iluvcocacola, via (CC BY 2.0)