Skinner introduces bill to regulate ammunition sales

(KGO)
January 7, 2013 6:01:53 PM PST
A new effort is under way in California to slow gun violence following last month's tragedy at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The 2013 legislative session began officially Monday and it's clear after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that school safety is a top priority.

State and local leaders held a moment of silence Monday to pay respects to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. "It is easier in California to buy bullets than to buy alcohol, cigarettes, or Sudafed cold medicine," State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner said.

Her proposal would require ammunition dealers to be licensed, require buyers to present ID, require that all sales be reported to the Department of Justice with local law enforcement notified when transactions involve large quantities, and it would ban conversion kits that allow high-capacity magazines.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks says that won't work. "None of these measures, had they been in place, would have done a single thing to prevent what happened," he said. In fact, Donnelly is readying a different proposal to get to have at least one anonymous person at each school armed. "We haven't had a single hijacking since 9/11 and I think it's in large part due to the presence of air marshals. So, why don't we have a school marshals program?" he asked.

As lawmakers hammer out how to improve school safety in California, Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco has been getting taunting messages for his proposal to close a loophole that enables shooters to reload faster. "Rather than dealing with the heart of an issue, they resort to racist innuendos, suggestions, and it's just really unfortunate," he said.

According to the campaign reform watch dog group Common Cause, unlike Washington DC, the gun lobby is not particularly strong in California so gun control measures have a good chance of passage.

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