News

After Texas shooting: A call to 'advance our resolve' from California state officials

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders announce emergency actions to curb gun violence at a press conference in Sacramento on May 25, 2022.

Buffalo. Boulder. Aurora. Las Vegas. Orlando. San Bernardino. Sutherland Springs. Poway. Parkland. Sandy Hook.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom rattled off a list of towns that have become tragic metonyms of our nation's epidemic of gun violence. "That's just a short list," Newsom said. On Tuesday, when a gunman stormed a southwest Texas elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers, another place joined that macabre roster: Uvalde, Texas.

The press conference at the state Capitol was the first joint appearance in at least a year by the governor and the Legislature's top Democrats, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood. The stated purpose, according to Newson, was "not to add to the rhetoric but to advance our resolve."

But given that the state Legislature is already considering a raft of new gun proposals, Congress is beset by gridlock and the federal judiciary appears primed to slap down some of California's existing gun laws, there wasn't much to advance.

The news, such that it was: Newsom, Atkins and Rendon vowed to "expedite" the gun control bills currently moving through the Legislature. That includes a proposal making it easier to hold gun makers and distributors legally liable for injury and death committed with their products, a ban on the advertising of certain firearms to kids, and a bit of Texas-inspired legislation to give Californians the ability to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells designated "assault weapons" or ghost guns.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

California already bans so-called assault weapons, of the kind used in the Texas school massacre, and already has the nation's strictest gun laws.

Newsom said he looks forward to "enthusiastically" signing this latest crop of bills by the end of next month, months ahead of the Aug. 31 legislative deadline.

But even if they do become law, these bills would likely face legal challenges. And the judiciary has not been a friendly place for California gun laws recently. Earlier this month, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel struck down a California law barring adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a rifle, an age limit that still applies to handguns. A spokesperson from Attorney General Rob Bonta's office said they are considering whether to petition for a rehearing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year on the right to carry concealed firearms. California has among the strictest concealed carry licensing schemes in the country.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from Glendale, authored the invalidated age limit law. At the press conference, he spoke to my colleague, Alexei Koseff, noting that the shooters in both Buffalo, New York and Uvalde were 18-year-olds who legally acquired their AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Email Ben Christopher at [email protected]

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CalMatters here.

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you crime news. Become a member today.

After Texas shooting: A call to 'advance our resolve' from California state officials

by Ben Christopher / CalMatters

Uploaded: Thu, May 26, 2022, 10:33 am

Buffalo. Boulder. Aurora. Las Vegas. Orlando. San Bernardino. Sutherland Springs. Poway. Parkland. Sandy Hook.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom rattled off a list of towns that have become tragic metonyms of our nation's epidemic of gun violence. "That's just a short list," Newsom said. On Tuesday, when a gunman stormed a southwest Texas elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers, another place joined that macabre roster: Uvalde, Texas.

The press conference at the state Capitol was the first joint appearance in at least a year by the governor and the Legislature's top Democrats, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood. The stated purpose, according to Newson, was "not to add to the rhetoric but to advance our resolve."

But given that the state Legislature is already considering a raft of new gun proposals, Congress is beset by gridlock and the federal judiciary appears primed to slap down some of California's existing gun laws, there wasn't much to advance.

The news, such that it was: Newsom, Atkins and Rendon vowed to "expedite" the gun control bills currently moving through the Legislature. That includes a proposal making it easier to hold gun makers and distributors legally liable for injury and death committed with their products, a ban on the advertising of certain firearms to kids, and a bit of Texas-inspired legislation to give Californians the ability to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells designated "assault weapons" or ghost guns.

California already bans so-called assault weapons, of the kind used in the Texas school massacre, and already has the nation's strictest gun laws.

Newsom said he looks forward to "enthusiastically" signing this latest crop of bills by the end of next month, months ahead of the Aug. 31 legislative deadline.

But even if they do become law, these bills would likely face legal challenges. And the judiciary has not been a friendly place for California gun laws recently. Earlier this month, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel struck down a California law barring adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a rifle, an age limit that still applies to handguns. A spokesperson from Attorney General Rob Bonta's office said they are considering whether to petition for a rehearing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year on the right to carry concealed firearms. California has among the strictest concealed carry licensing schemes in the country.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from Glendale, authored the invalidated age limit law. At the press conference, he spoke to my colleague, Alexei Koseff, noting that the shooters in both Buffalo, New York and Uvalde were 18-year-olds who legally acquired their AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles.

Email Ben Christopher at [email protected]

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics.

Comments

Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2022 at 10:52 am
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 26, 2022 at 10:52 am

Instead of politicking and looking for votes by seeming to be tough on guns maybe they could do something useful and push for the existing gun laws to be enforced. For years the California legislature has been weakening penalties for crimes, even Californians voted to weaken the penalties and guess where it got us... Felony gun crimes are bargained down to misdemeanors, People are not being punished for breaking laws like shoplifting, breaking into cars, stealing packages and the list goes on. When someone is caught the chances of them spending any time in jail or prison are small. The quality of life in California, and the Bay Area, is going down. I read almost daily people posting about someone stealing a package from their front door, or breaking into a house or car. Would anyone take their car and park it in any tourist area of San Francisco? How many roving banks of criminals have executed mass robberies of stores like Apple, Victoria Secret, Coach and the list goes on. Yes we don't need politicians like Newsom mugging for the cameras and trying to look tough on crime, we need them to actually do something like stop plea bargaining gun crimes, toughen up sentencing and go after the quality of life crimes that are affecting us on a daily basis.

Is anyone else tired of this playbook by politicians? Stop passing laws that won't stop criminals and use the ones we already have to put them behind bars.


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2022 at 2:15 pm
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 26, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Enough:

100% agree.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2022 at 9:18 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 26, 2022 at 9:18 pm

Menlo Voter,

I wish our politicians and DA's would agree. They could start tomorrow by saying that they will no longer plea bargain any crimes involving guns and furthermore they will seek the maximum penalties for any repeat crimes with a gun or violent crimes where a gun was used. They don't need to wait for more legislation.


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 27, 2022 at 7:42 am
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 27, 2022 at 7:42 am

Enough:

I know. I've been saying that for many years, ever since my time in law enforcement. The DA's have been bargaining away gun charges and enhancements forever.


Ellen
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 28, 2022 at 7:39 pm
Ellen, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on May 28, 2022 at 7:39 pm

Is there a way to track which DAs are bargaining away gun charges? This could be useful information come election time.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 28, 2022 at 8:25 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 28, 2022 at 8:25 pm

Ellen:

All of them.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 28, 2022 at 9:20 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 28, 2022 at 9:20 pm

Unfortunately I think Menlo Voter is correct, they all want to take the "easy" way out and make a deal, but that sends the wrong message on gun crimes and makes everyone less safe. Salt Lake County DA has stated "plea deals will no longer be offered to defendants accused of gun-related crimes in Salt Lake County". That was in October of 2021. It would be interesting to review their data after a year and see what happened to the cases and the crime rate...

We should push our DA's to make the same promise


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 29, 2022 at 12:38 pm
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on May 29, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Besides having mandatory sentencing, and ENFORCEMENT of current laws, the CA DOJ has a backlog of over 40,000 weapons that need to be confiscated from Felons and people with Restraining Orders against them. Everyone needs to do their jobs to reduce having guns in the hands of violent criminals.


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 4, 2022 at 9:55 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jun 4, 2022 at 9:55 pm



Web Link

TLDR: convicted felon uses a gun to rob people in a park, pistol whips one of them. Police catch him with the stolen property and the gun. He gets a deal for 3 years in prison, but with time served and good behavior he has already completed his sentence at the time of sentencing and is now on probation. The convicted felon that used a gun to commit a violent crime is back on the streets. I am willing to bet he has a gun within days and will commit more gun crimes. Does this make the community a safer place? Why pass more gun laws when the ones we already have don't matter...


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.