SB 249 is dead. And that’s great news for Second Amendment advocates in the state of California.
The bill, introduced by State Senator Leland Yee, sought to make California’s gun control laws more restrictive by prohibiting semi-automatic firearms with “easily changeable magazines.”
California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The state heavily regulates the sale, transfer, possession, and use of firearms.
In a July 20 statement (“Colorado Massacre Reaffirms Calls to Close Assault Weapon Loophole in California”), Sen. Yee cited the Aurora, Colorado shooting as justification for why the state legislature should pass SB 249, as amended:
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy and their families. These events are shocking to all of us and sadly remind us of the carnage that is possible when assault weapons get into the wrong hands. It is imperative that we take every step possible to eliminate the types of senseless killings witnessed in Aurora, Colorado. We must limit access to weapons that can carry massive rounds of bullets or that can be easily reloaded. SB 249 is a step in that direction and should be approved by the Legislature as soon as possible.”
The legislative branch of the National Rifle Association stated that the bill would force the owners of “hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic rifles, which were legally sold in California over the last decade,” to hand over their firearms to law enforcement.
On August 14, Gun Owners of California reported that SB 249 died in committee.
Sen. Yee released this statement the following day:
“I am deeply disappointed that the bill is being held by the Appropriations Committee. My greatest fear is that another senseless act of violence will happen before the loophole is closed. Despite the gun lobby’s efforts to derail common sense legislation, I will not give up this fight.
When California enacted our assault weapon law there was no intention of allowing such easily changeable magazines on military style weapons. It is imperative that we close this loophole as soon as possible, either through legislation or new regulations at the Department of Justice.”
Gun Owners of California warned that similar legislation will likely to appear in the future. Second Amendment activists must continue to fight against unconstitutional, gun control legislation – not only in California, but across the entire country.