A slate of firearm-related bills are making their way through the California legislature, including a ban prohibiting the sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, a bill that would make improper gun storage a crime, and a monumental lead ammo ban that would make the state the first to require nonlead ammunition for hunting by 2019.
California has long held the reputation of having the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Recently, states like New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and even Colorado have begun to challenge the Golden State’s title by passing their own gun control packages in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December. Now California legislators aim to make the state once again the nation’s toughest on guns.
According to Reuters, the state Assembly passed on Tuesday a bill that would ban the sale of all semiautomatic rifles with removable magazines. Existing firearms that fall under this distinction would have to be registered. The ban was drafted with specific language to target devices such as the “bullet button.”
The bill passed the Assembly 44-31 and will be heading to the governor’s desk after amendments are approved in the Senate.
More concerning for hunters is the proposed ban on lead ammunition. According to the Spokesman-Review, if signed the ban will begin taking affect as early as July 1, 2015. The state’s Fish and Game Commission will be required to phase in the use of nonlead ammunition for hunting of any kind, a gradual program that is expected to be completed by July 1, 2019.
Supporters of the ban say that the use of nonlead ammo would save species such as the California condor, which sometimes consumes hunter-shot game. Critics of the ban believe the bill will effectively ban all hunting in the state if passed into law. Read more about the debate behind the issue here.
Heartened by the successful recall of politicians that supported gun control in Colorado, many California gun owners are calling for similar recalls in their native state. Colorado Senate President John Morse and State Senator Angela Giron were ousted from office on Tuesday after playing a key part in the passage of numerous gun strictures, including a limit on magazine capacity. You can read more about the Colorado recall here.