Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Governor Sensibly Signs Three Bills, But Shouldn't Have Vetoed Fourth Measure, Says Brady Campaign

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger smartly signed two bills Friday, strengthening enforcement of age restrictions on ammunition purchases and protecting domestic violence victims. But he also vetoed a common sense measure that would require handgun ammunition to be locked up by retailers. Earlier this fall, the Governor signed another bill, which maintains records of lost and stolen guns until rightful ownership of the gun is determined.


"Three out of four is a fair batting average," said Mike Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, "so we're grateful for the Governor's support on three of these measures. But he should have strengthened safeguards against ammunition thefts by signing the bill that he vetoed."


The first bill, SB 48, requires ammunition sellers to ensure that purchasers are at least 18 years of age for rifle ammunition and 21 years of age for handgun ammunition. Previously, ammunition sellers were not required to verify purchasers were of age. The Governor also signed AB 1288, a bill protecting domestic violence victims by authorizing arraignment courts to prohibit firearm possession by domestic violence defendants. This bill was supported by a wide range of domestic violence agencies and law enforcement organizations, including the California State Sheriff's Association.


"As a victim of gun violence myself, I thank all of the elected officials who had a part in these victories. The people of California will be safer because of these bills," said Griffin Dix, president of the California Million Mom March Chapters. "We look forward to working with the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger next year to enact our two priority bills, to serialize ammunition and equip handguns with ammunition microstamping technology."


The Governor vetoed a bill (AB 996) to reduce shoplifting of ammunition by requiring "safe storage" of handgun ammunition in retail stores. The bill required that customers could only gain access to handgun ammunition with the help of a store employee, much the same way many gun stores protect their inventory by keeping handguns in locked display cases.


The California Chapters of the Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign, in partnership with other allied organizations, supported all four bills.

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