GUN BILLS: Bill to ban large-capacity magazines fails in Assembly - Brian W. Jones

GUN BILLS: Bill to ban large-capacity magazines fails in Assembly

Lawmakers acted on a batch of gun-control measures Wednesday as they rushed to finish their work by Thursday’s midnight deadline. Most of the legislation passed along party lines, although a bill...

to outlaw large capacity magazines failed in the Assembly. Republicans criticized the measures as an attack on gun rights.

“I’ve got to praise the majority party’s endurance in trying to chip away at the Second Amendment. It seems Sacramento has become a factory for gun restriction legislation,” Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, said of a bill restricting the distribution of gun permits.

Most gun-related bills fared well, including a measure by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D- Gardena, which clarified that only individuals — and not corporations — could be issued gun permits.

Some bills ran into stronger opposition, such as a bill to criminalize magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The bill by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, failed after heated debate on the Assembly floor.

“High capacity magazines pose a threat to public safety,” Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said in support. Rendon also noted that police officers, who carry 10-to-12 rounds, are often outgunned, and that the bill had the support of police departments in the cities of Alameda, Burbank, Chula Vista, El Cerrito and Piedmont.

Opponents called the bill unconstitutional and argued that it would leave people unable to defend themselves.

“The heavy hand of the state government should not be coming down on law-abiding citizens who use these guns, our focus should be getting guns out of the hands of criminals,” Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said on the Assembly floor.

Most Assembly Republicans opposed the measure, but even Speaker John A. Perez, D-Los Angeles, who did not vote on the bill, was “unsure” if he could support the measure.

The Hancock bill twice fell short of the 41 votes necessary before it ultimately failed 36-34 vote.