"This is my boy and I love him and I miss him. I need something done about this. I'm tired of hurting," said Paulette Brown, a grieving mother inside the committee hearing.
With Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa showing support, an emotional Senate Public Safety committee hearing took place as lawmakers took the first step toward moving a package of gun control measures designed to curb gun violence. The Sandy Hook massacre that left 26 dead is the inspiration and the rallying point to do more to toughen laws in California, already considered the strongest in the nation.
"I replay that day in my head daily. It enrages me. It brings me to my knees in sadness and in anger," said Cynthia Pillsbury, from Moms Demand Action. "I'm counting on you all to do the right thing."
Among the provisions, the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement, or LIFE Act, requires fixed magazines on semi-automatic rifles, bans possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and mandates permits to purchase ammunition.
Opponents of tougher gun laws also came out in force. Rob Young survived the 1989 Stockton school shooting that killed five and feels more restrictions will only hurt law-abiding gun owners who follow the rules.
"Criminals do not play by the rules. They can care less about restrictions, assault weapons bans or current gun laws," said Young.
"It's going to do absolutely nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to curb violent crime with firearms," said El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini.
The Assembly also acted. A measure making it a crime to negligently store a loaded weapon or leave it where a child can get it, won its first committee approval.