In the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting, several gun control bills have been introduced in the California legislature, including one that would limit shotgun and rifle purchases to one per month.
On December 2nd of 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a holiday event at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 and seriously injuring 22 others.
The shooting rekindled the heated gun control debate. Since the incident, which has been billed as a terrorist attack, representatives around the country have proposed legislation that would add more controls on gun purchases and restrictions on firearms themselves. Fox 40 reported on recent legislation proposed in California:
“Hopefully all of us can agree there are too many deaths from guns,” said state Sen. Dr. Richard Pan of Sacramento.
Tuesday, Pan introduced SB 877, which would require the state to keep track of gun violence data. That, he says, would allow better research on what works and what doesn’t to prevent gun deaths, much like car accident records which the state does keep.
“That research was not to abolish automobiles. It was about making them safer and reducing injuries and deaths,” Pan said.
At one time, the Centers for Disease Control compiled and researched gun data, but since 1996 has self-imposed a ban on researching gun violence under pressure from Congress that the institution may lose funding.
Pan believes California would be served well to collect its own data.
“We can’t be scared of what the data will show us,” said Pan.
His bill is only one of a handful of gun control bills introduced just this week. AB 1674 would limit purchases of a shotgun or rifle to one per month.
Two separate bills, one in the Senate, SB 880, and another in the Assembly, AB 1674, seek to close what has become known as the “bullet button” loophole. Both bills seek to add semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the list of assault weapons banned in California.
“The shooter in San Bernardino used this kind of mechanism to reload quickly and continue his carnage. So it’s a loophole that needs to be closed,” said State Senator Steve Glazer, author of the Senate’s version of the bill.
In addition, according to the gun rights group Firearms Policy Coalition, AB1673 would expand the definition of “firearm” to include the “finished frame or receiver of the weapon, or the unfinished frame or receiver of a weapon that can be readily converted to the functional condition of a finished frame or receiver.”
California’s state constitution doesn’t even mention the issue of guns. The state is a “may issue” state, meaning that the issuance of gun permits is contingent upon the discretion of local authorities. One has to show “good cause” to obtain a permit. Citing the 2nd Amendment or using self-defense as a reason isn’t sufficient.