Santa Monica City Council Supports Two Gun Bills

Friday, 26 Jul 2013, 8:12:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council formally expressed its support Tuesday night of two proposed bills in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., respectively, aiming to legislate gun control and safety.

A bill proposed by Rep. Henry Waxman, known as the Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Act of 2013, aims to provide “a framework for moving forward in the areas of gun safety, mental health, and gun violence-related research.”

“The bill would prohibit the sale of certain ‘homemade’ gun kits and parts used in the June 7, 2013 Santa Monica shootings, target research on serious mental illness, improve access to mental health services, and reinforce existing government authorities to carry out public health research on gun violence,” City staff stated of the proposed bill on the House of Representatives floor in Washington, D.C.

In California, state senators passed a series of proposed bills known as the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement, or LIFE, Act; the bill is awaiting a vote in state assembly.

The LIFE Act and related bills, as proposed, seek “to close loopholes in existing regulations, keep firearms out of the hands of potentially violent or dangerous persons, and strengthen education on gun ownership,” City staff stated, adding the Santa Monica’s council members already went on the record to support a similar bill, SB 396, placing “prohibitions associated with large capacity ammunition magazines.”

Waxman proposed the “Homemade Gun Kits” law in light of the shootings at Newtown, Connecticut, and Santa Monica College (SMC).

The proposed bill hopes to prohibit the sale of homemade gun kits similar to what was used during the shooting at SMC.

Specifically, Waxman’s proposed bill, if passed in its current form, would prohibit all sales, including those made on the Internet, of firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machine gun parts kit.

The law also proposes various advances in mental health infrastructure, such as expanding research, providing more training for those who work within the space, and expanding access to services.

Meanwhile, seven pieces of legislation make up the package of bills that is the LIFE Act. One bill – SB 374 – “simplifies and strengthens California’s assault weapons law by prohibiting future sale or transfer of semi-automatic centerfire rifles that can accept detachable magazines.”

Another bill – SB 396 – would prohibit “the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds, regardless of the date the magazine was acquired.”

Senate Bill 47 would update California law on assault weapons “closing the loophole allowing for devices that enable the quick release and rapid reload of ammunition magazines.”

One state senator proposed SB 567 to update the definitions of shotguns in California law. If passed, SB 567 would “update the definition of shotgun by specifying that the interior of the barrel may be either smooth or rifled.”

Complete background checks would be the law if SB 53 were passed.

Certain firearm prohibitions would be expanded under SB 755, as the law proposes making longer the list of misdemeanor criminal offenses associated with the purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition.

Finally, SB 683 seeks to expand the existing Handgun Safety Certificate program to cover all firearms and require firearm purchasers to hold a valid “Firearm Safety Certificate.” All firearm purchasers would be required to pass a written test “and demonstrate that they know how to handle the firearm safely.”

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