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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Gun Control Legislation, Bans Lead Ammo

by G&A Online Editors   |  October 11th, 2013 18
Jerry Brown

This 2007 photo shows then-attorney general Jerry Brown standing next to a collection of firearms confiscated by law enforcement. Brown, now governor of California, vetoed two pieces of gun control legislation Friday. (Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Despite vetoing seven gun control bills, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 711, a bill banning the use of lead ammunition for hunting.

California is the first state to take formal action against the use of lead ammuniton.

Proposed by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, the bill will ban hunters from using lead-based ammunition by 2019.

“We are thrilled that Governor Brown has made AB 711 the law of the land,” Rendon said. “There is simply no reason to continue using lead ammunition in hunting when it poses a significant risk to human health and the environment.”

Although he signed the lead ban, Gov. Brown surprisingly vetoed a handful of gun control bills aimed at tightening the existing bans on several common rifles and shotguns.

According to The Washington Post, Brown vetoed Senate Bill 374—which would have banned the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines—and Senate Bill 567, which would have defined some low-capacity shotguns and rifles as assault weapons.

Both bills passed the state senate in June by a 22-14 vote, along with five other pieces of gun control legislation.

In a message to California’s state legislature, Brown explained he didn’t “believe that [SB374’s] blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights,” the Post reported, adding Brown did not believe the small number of guns listed in SB567 did not pose a threat to the public.

Earlier this week, the NRA singled out SB374, threatening the state with a lawsuit should the bill have been passed, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The NRA’s planned legal challenges are simply part of its prudent contingency plan to do everything possible to protect the rights of Californians who choose to own a gun to protect themselves and their families,” NRA attorney Chuck Michel told the Times.

Michel added, “A dozen years ago the head of the gun control lobby in California announced that they had gotten almost everything they wanted. Now years later, dozens more extreme gun control bills sit on the governor’s desk. The gun ban lobby will never be satisfied. California is now living proof that the slippery slope of gun control is real.”

Despite the vetoed bills, several other smaller gun control measures were signed into law by Brown. One measure restricts the sale of high-capacity magazines, another prohibits businesses from applying for assault weapons permits, and two new laws restrict firearm access for mentally ill patients.

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