California Gov. Jerry Brown Friday signed onto much of the gun control agenda set to make the state’s gun laws more stringent in the wake of mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida.
The Democratic governor signed six bills advocated by legislative Democrats, in a rare victory for those clamoring for greater gun control. The measures include requiring gun owners to give up magazines holding more than 10 rounds and to undergo a background check before they can purchase ammunition, AP reported.
Although California already has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, the shooting spree in San Bernardino last December triggered the need to close unintended loopholes.
“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, who himself owns guns, reportedly said in a signing measure.
However, he vetoed five gun bills, including a one-gun-per-month purchase limit. “While well-intentioned, I believe this bill would have the effect of burdening lawful citizens who wish to sell certain firearms that they no longer need,” Brown wrote.
The legislative advocate for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Amanda Wilcox, hailed the governor’s action, highlighting one bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin de León, the Senate’s Democratic leader, which calls for background checks, the New York Times reported.
“It is really far-reaching and bold, and really has the potential to save a lot of lives,” Wilcox said. “It can give us a handle on who has illegal guns in the state, as well as limiting access to ammunition by dangerous people who may have illegal guns.”
Gun rights advocates have called the bills a “Gunpocalypse,” Reuters reported.
“Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a Draconian gun control package that turns California’s law-abiding gun owners into second-class citizens,” said Amy Hunter, California spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The governor and legislature exploited a terrorist attack to push these measures through even though the state’s already restrictive laws did nothing to stop the attack in San Bernardino.”
The move comes days after the Democrats staged a sit-in to protest the Republican-controlled Congress’ inaction on gun control legislation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
CORRECTION: July 5, 4:45 pm: This story has been updated to include attribution to the AP.