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California Lawmakers Prep Gun Control Bills

Seth Perlman / AP

Seth Perlman / AP

As President Obama looks to tighten federal gun laws, Democratic lawmakers in California are pushing their own proposals.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who represents Glendale, wants people on the government’s no-fly list to also be banned from buying guns in California.

“We could do things a lot better to make sure that the mentally ill do not have guns in their households and frankly making sure that the dangerous don’t have guns in their households,” says Gatto. “There’s an awful lot of people who fit both categories who still have firearms in their households.”

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat, plans to introduce a bill to limit monthly rifle and shotgun purchases to one per month, similar to California’s existing law limiting handguns.

Another proposal from Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, would broaden who can seek temporary firearm restraining orders to include co-workers.

Senate leader Kevin de León says he wants background checks on ammunition sales and he will look to pass a package of new gun control measures through the Legislature in “coming weeks.”

That could be a tough sell. Sweeping gun restrictions, including bans on large-capacity magazines, have failed in the Legislature in recent years.

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, a Riverside County Republican, says the laws don’t work.

“California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, yet we still have gun violence,” Melendez says. “You will never ever stop all the violence, because there will always be people out there who want to do others harm. You cannot legislate that away.”

Governor Jerry Brown called for tighter federal restrictions last month, but not new California laws.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is leading an effort to circumvent the Capitol. He’s currently gathering signatures on a ballot initiative made up of gun control measures that didn’t make it through the Legislature.

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