On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed six, gun control measures into law that focused on a variety of issues important to gun reform advocates. The measures included the requirement for purchasers to present identification and background check to buy ammunition and creates a new state database of ammunition owners; a requirement for any online ammunition sales to be conducted through a licensed vendor; a ban on the possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets; a restriction on the loaning of guns without background checks to close family members; semi-automatic rifles will be reclassified as assault weapons; and, the sale of semi-automatic rifles equipped with bullet buttons that allow the ammunition magazines to be easily detached and replaced, are now banned.
The governor also vetoed a number of gun measures sure to please second amendment enthusiasts. Included among them is a bill that would have allowed co-workers, mental health workers and school officials to petition the court for a “gun violence restraining order” for people judged a danger to themselves and others. Such orders would have allowed guns to be confiscated for a year.
Brown also declined to authorize an initiative for the November ballot to clarify that theft of a firearm is grand theft and is punishable as a felony; a measure that would require those who make guns at home to register them with the state and get a serial number so the weapons can be tracked; a measure to require stolen or lost guns to be reported within five days; and finally, he vetoed a measure that would limit the number of shotguns or rifles a person could purchase to one per month.
In his signing statement the governor wrote, “My goal in signing these bills is to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.” Brown, however, was not the only elected official focused on gun control last week. State legislators approved twelve additional gun control measures last week.