Senate Public Safety Committee Stands Up to Gun Violence
Yee’s SB 47, 108 advance
SACRAMENTO – On a vote of 5-2 for SB 47 and SB 108, Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) bills to reduce gun violence passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee today.
“The horrors of Newtown, and countless other mass shootings are still with us,” said Yee. “With this in mind, it is our responsibility to make sure our laws protect the innocent from the threat of gun violence.”
Specifically, Yee’s SB 47 will prohibit the use of the bullet button and other devices that allow for easily changeable magazines on all military-style assault weapons, such as AR-15s. Under SB 47, featured weapons would only be allowed to have low capacity (10-round) ammunition magazines that could not be changed without dissembling the weapon. Essentially, bullets could only be loaded one-by-one from the top of the gun.
Yee’s SB 108 will require all guns to be properly stored when an adult is not home. Current law only requires that gun owners own a trigger lock or safety lock box for their weapon, but doesn’t require the safety device to be used on an idle firearm. Yee’s bill will specifically require that all guns be properly stored with a trigger lock or in a lock box at a residence when the owner is not present.
In support of Yee’s legislation, the President of the California Brady Campaign, Dallas Stout, Psy.D, said, “California enacted the first ban on assault weapons in the country after a deranged man shot and killed five children and wounded thirty others at a Stockton Elementary School in 1989. The ban has saved lives and has reduced gun deaths for over 20 years. We won’t let unscrupulous gun manufacturers get away with modifying their guns to try to get around California’s Assault Weapon Ban.”
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence recently released a study that showed the states with the toughest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun deaths.
The 6 states with the lowest per capita gun death rates (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) all had some of the toughest gun laws in country.
In contrast, the top 10 states with the highest per capita gun death rates (Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) all had weak gun laws.
“It is a fact that strong gun laws work and weak laws result in the loss of innocent lives,” said Yee “Clearly, there is a direct correlation between common sense gun laws and fewer gun-related homicides.”
The bills will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Office of Leland Y. Yee, PH.D.
California State Senate
Capitol Office – Room 4074, Sacramento, CA 95814