Bill Would Expand State’s Gun-Storage Requirements
SACRAMENTO (AP) — A bill that appears headed to the governor would require gun owners to lock up their weapons if they live with a convicted felon or anyone else who is prohibited from owning a firearm.
The legislation from Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, expands the state’s gun-storage law to those who know or should know they are living with someone who is not allowed to possess a firearm. SB363 heads back to the Senate for a final vote after passing the Assembly on a 62-8 vote Tuesday.
The state’s list of people who cannot legally own weapons includes those who have a felony or violent misdemeanor conviction; a determination that they are mentally unstable; or a domestic violence restraining order. The list is confidential and used for law-enforcement purposes.
If their weapon is used in a crime committed by a prohibited person, a gun owner could face fines and jail time.
The legislation is among a series of gun-control bills introduced this year in response to the mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado. New York and other states also have approved tough firearms laws this year.
Supporters, including the California Police Chiefs Association, say the requirement would help prevent unlawful access to guns.
“When you take on the responsibility of owning pistols and rifles, you take on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of those weapons,” said Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, who was among roughly a dozen Republicans supporting the bill.
But Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said the bill would hold people accountable for crimes in which they had no direct involvement.
“If somebody drives drunk, you don’t hold the spouse accountable for that which someone else has committed,” Donnelly said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
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