California Democrats Roll Out Nation’s Strictest Gun Laws

by Eliana Johnson

California Democrats have introduced a package of ten bills that, taken together, would constitute the strictest gun laws in the country. CBS News reports that lawmakers are seeking to impose restrictions on current as well as future gun owners, and that “those buying ammunition would have to pay a fee and undergo an initial background check by the state Department of Justice, similar to what is required now before buyers can purchase a weapon.” 

The ten legislative items in the Democrats’ proposal are listed here, the most draconian of which would “prohibit the future sale, purchase, manufacture, importation, or transfer in California of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines” in order to close the loopholes that “have allowed the gun industry to flood our communities with rapid-reload battlefield weapons.” 

In a press conference yesterday announcing the legislation, Los Angeles Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa offered his support and gave a nod to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed the nation’s strictest gun laws into effect just weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting. “New York has stepped up and stepped forward,” said Villaraigosa. “California needs to answer the call.” 

Cuomo was forced to amend New York’s legislation, which failed to exempt police from a ban on high-capacity magazines. Because the law mandates that doctors alert government authorities if they believe an individual may be a threat to himself or others, mental-health experts also expressed concern that it would discourage potentially violent people from seeking help. 

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